Get A Timer

In our Juggling Elephants training program we have a section where we work through "bad acts" that have crept into our lineup. Things that inhibit our ability to get more important things done. In recent weeks I have increasingly heard the act of "Facebook" or "MySpace" shared as one such act. Of course we clarify the bad act as "too much time on Facebook or MySpace" because in and of themselves, these sites are not bad. How we use them determines their impact (positively or negatively) on our lives.

The classic line most people give in a training session is, "I had a couple minutes so I went to my page and then found myself still sitting there an hour later. Time just flew by." It is so easy to do.

If you're trying to limit your time with social media, web surfing or other activity, consider getting a timer. I have an inexpensive digital one that I keep on my office desk and also one in my home. Set the time you are allowing yourself to have for an activity and then you have a steady reminder that your time is dwindling. You will also find that you prioritize what you want to get done (or do) because you have limited time resources. And the shrill "beep beep" will be enough to remind you that it's time to go to the next act in your lineup. Yes, you have to have the discipline to pull yourself away from the activity-you're the ringmaster of your circus.

I also use it for conference calls, working on projects or anytime I need to manage the time I spend on any task.