Computer Tips – How I free up more time for dunking biscuits in my tea

This work related blog post contains various efficiency computer tips for how I freed up some time.

2019 Update: In the seven years since I originally wrote this blog post a lot has changed. We seem to live in a more connected world and it’s easy to find your time being used up, sometimes unnecessarily. So before you read my original post, here are a few updates:

  • If I’m interested in a blog post or page online, but it’s not critical to read, I will add it to the Pocket service and then in the future I set aside time and read via Pocket on either a PC or mobile device.
  • I use Tweetdeck to manage multiple Twitter accounts and then use private lists to follow small groups, rather than trying to follow lots of people.
  • I hardly use Facebook and don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

With advances in technology, people often find they have less time, rather than more. This is especially a problem if it is cutting into tea drinking, and biscuit dunking time! So I thought I would share some of my computer time management techniques. This article was written with tongue firmly placed in cheek…..

Become an email ninja!

This year I started an email detox diet and I feel great! Newsletters, junk and even an email requesting I step in for 007, whilst he goes snorkeling with Miss Moneypenny, were overwhelming my inbox. So using the awesome sauce email client which is Thunderbird I’ve done the following:

  • I’ve setup filters and sub-folders.
  • I’ve been training the ‘junk’ feature.
  • I’ve unsubscribed from most newsletters.
  • I check my email less and often just twice a day.
  • I stopped using one of my email accounts, and stopped checking another regularly.
  • If someone sends me multiple emails in a day, I will often respond to them all via one email response.

I’ve reduced my online reading.

I devour words and each week I consume a book (currently reading spy books). However in the recent past I used to also read too many digital newspapers, and blogs. It is a sad geek habit, if you find yourself checking Google Reader numerous times per day! Now the habit has been kicked and the amount of blogs that I follow has been culled.

The excel task list.

Oh yeah, this **** is getting real now! I got my geek on, and started using an excel spreadsheet as a to-do list. Plus it saves me the hassle of having to carry a task list around with me, as it is now located on my laptop. Now I can easily located the urgent tasks, and save the lower items for quieter moments.

This means less stress, more major completed tasks and biscuits as rewards. I’m not joking, I mentioned my love for biscuits to a client, and they promptly sent me a tin full of luxury English biscuits!

Social network detox.

My digital pores have been cleansed recently, due to a social network detox. If you find yourself checking your ‘streams’ too often each day, perhaps you need to limit yourself? I did, and found it has contributed towards better concentration and productivity.

The conclusion?

With all the digital clutter wanting to make inroads into your life, you probably need to tweak your computer habits every so often. Then hopefully you too will have more time for dunking biscuits into your tea. I recommend cookies, as they are awesome at absorbing tea.