The true challenge of technology is how to get the most out of it without letting it overwhelm us. How to keep things simple but powerful. How to master technology without letting it become our master.
Here are some tips how to:
Focus on the essential. It’s important to take some time to think about what’s essential to your tech work (and play). What do you really need? What gives you the most benefit for your time? What’s not so essential? What takes up a lot of time without making much of an impact?
Do one thing at a time. I know. This is super hard when it comes to tech. Browser’s on, a dozen tabs open at once, switching between reading and email and work and IM and Twitter … we live in a multitasking world. But it doesn’t have to be this way. While there’s nothing wrong with having multiple tabs open, it can be very helpful to focus on one task at a time.
Have periods of disconnectedness. While I do most of my work online, I find it extremely useful (and calming) to close my browser and just work offline for awhile.
Don’t live in your inbox. Email is everything to many people. It’s communication, it’s a task list, it’s where you do your work, it’s your organization system. But if you work from your inbox, you are constantly being interrupted by new messages.
Schedule your IM time. If IM is important to your work, then schedule IM meetings, or have certain times of the day when you’re available for IM and tell your colleagues and friends about it. And have it for a limited amount of time and then end it.
Set limits on what you do. For example, check email just twice a day. Write emails of only 5 sentences or less.
Liberally taken by Zenhabits
I guess the secret is not in imposing limits, it is enjoying what you do.
Your life is yours, your day is yours, all the rest is just technology.