So here are some suggestions:
- Figure out on the average how much time you NEED to be on the computer. Include time for blogging and reviewing favorites as well as any household related needs, i.e., internet banking, shopping, etc.
- Are you surprised by the total number of hours you spend online? I WAS! You will have to decide whether you want to limit your time. I chose to do no more than two hours per day, but that is a personal preference.
- Given this, take a look at your daily schedule. Do you get up before your daughter? Does she nap in the morning? Does she nap in the afternoon? What time does she go down for bed? What time of the day do you do your housework, etc.
- After looking at your schedule and making a decision on the amount of computer time you need in a day, look at where you can plug it in. If your daughter has a two hour nap, could you plan online activities at that time? Do you want to split it up and do banking and work related activities for an hour during the afternoon nap and then an hour of cruising blogs and other sites of interest after she is put down for bed?
- Finally (and this is the hardest part!), stick to your plan! As tempting as it is to check your e-mail quickly while she is engrossed in an activity, don't do it! This opens up the door for us to check it again in a half hour, ten minutes, well, you see where I am going with that.
I don't know you, but if I didn't limit my time, I would spend hours and hours online looking at all those fantastic blogs, checking out new sites, writing, checking my stats (which I am absolutely OBSESSED with), etc. I'm guessing I'm not the only parent blogger who has fallen into this trap.
I read a book a while back called The Power of Full Engagement. It discusses time management activities, but more importantly it is about living fully in the moment in everything we do. How many parents take their laptops, cell phones, pdas and pagers on vacation? One is not living fully in the moment if they are taking a minute here and there to check their voice mails or e-mails. Likewise, a parent whose child has asked them to play with them, but then steps away to check their e-mail is not fully engaged with their child. Are we fully experiencing dinner time together at the table while we are listening to or watching tv? It is a great book and I strongly recommend it.
Hope this answers your question Stephanie! And if you have a question you would like answered, drop me a personal e-mail. Please be sure to indicate whether I have your permission to post your question on my blog. Hope to hear from you soon!