Just consider for a moment the amount of “stuff” you now have to do, simply because of the Internet. There is, of course, a mountain of email to manage, then there is blogging and content production, as well as social media. On top of that, there is all the reading to catch up on and videos to watch, podcasts to listen to and white papers to download. Gosh, it is a wonder we all get any time to work.
An increasing problem these days is stress resulting from the conflicting demands on our time created by all this online activity. There just is too much to do. Besides which, when do you get time to do your real work? It is a conundrum that millions of people are trying to grapple with day in, day out.
One of the solutions is to timetable things – make them a routine. For instance, you might deal with emails for the first half hour of your day, then blog for the next half hour and then get on with your real work. After you have done a couple of hours of that you might spend 15 minutes on social networks before taking a break and getting back to work. When people enter specific time slots for web activity into their daily routines they find they feel much less stressed about the online world.
Now, new research adds another important twist to the need to ritualise your web activity. A study conducted at the University of Minnesota showed that when people did something on a ritualistic basis, they enjoyed it more.
One of the reasons why we get stressed is because the activity we are doing at that time is something we do not find completely enjoyable and a conflict arises in our subconscious. We wish we were doing something else.
Online, this is amplified because we also know that we have a pile of real work to get on with, yet we also “have to” do all this Internet “stuff”.
That conflict can be lessened when the “have to” activity – emailing, blogging, tweeting or whatever – becomes enjoyable. This new research suggests that if you make your use of the Internet more ritualistic you could well enjoy it more, thereby lessening the stressful impact of doing all this “stuff”.
It means a daily web routine could not only save you time, but also reduce the impact of the online world on your stress levels.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+