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Don't Let Technology Eat Your Time and Rule Your Life

As we arrive at the festive season, and we are all thinking less about work and more about friends and family, and perhaps those less fortunate than ourselves, please give a little thought to what I am about to say.

Simply ask yourself how much time you have spent in 2014 watching on-line video, texting, listening to music, taking selfies, snap-chatting, playing games, reading tweets, discussing random irrelevances on facebook, composing pointless e-mails, chasing dead leads on LinkedIn, downloading apps on your phone, learning stuff you didn't need to know (and now cannot remember any of it anyway), and probably a whole load of other 'time-sink' activities which did not actually help your effectiveness either from a business perspective, or even socially.

Did you just 'exist' during these wasted hours - I'm guessing it is more than hours - probably days if not weeks of lost time which you could have spent doing or planning something either more enjoyable or more constructive.

If this point of view resonates with you, then don't be alarmed. You have been a victim of 'techno-gobble' where technological gadgets increasingly gobble up your time and fool your brain into thinking it is busy, whilst what is actually happening is that you are becoming (or have become) addicted to being a modern 21st century consumer.

21st century consumers are now spending more time on-line than their parents generation watched TV, often twice as much or more. The previous TV-obsessed 'couch-potato' generation were often criticised for wasting their own lives by watching other people live theirs. This is so true of many 21st century consumers, although the content is more varied, faster moving and arguably more interesting, often interactive, with so much more choice.

There are health issues here too. Sitting at a desk during work time, and then sitting somewhere else in leisure time consuming content, is also going to impact your health, even if you don't sucumb to the habit of grazing whilst you consume, play or share content.

Do not let this situation get worse. Restrict your social technology and entertainment activities to a specified number of minutes per hour, or hours per day. Allocate time - your precious time - to achieving what you want to achieve in life by being pro-active, not re-active to whatever trends seem to be popular with your friends or colleagues or the media.

They used to say that being good at snooker was a sign of a mis-spent youth. In other words, dedicating 10,000 hours of practice at the expense of an education was acceptable to certain sportsmen who had 'a gift'. 

Think about the potential 10,000 hours you may lose by letting technology consume your time and attention. Could you not put those hours to good use and excel at something in life, which you enjoy, for which you and your friends and family will be really proud someday?

Don't succumb to wasting time being an entertainment obsessed consumer; spend your time creating or being part of something you enjoy which will make you proud of using your valuable time wisely.

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