Jun 30, 2014 by


Waste not time, for it is the thing life is made of
There you are, doing something worthwhile online–researching, reading the news, connecting with people on Facebook. Then you see a link. “This kitten has a special trick that’ll leave you speechless.” You click through to a web page with a Youtube video of a kitten smoking a cigarette and doing shots of Jaegermeister. You chuckle. You try hard to return to what you were doing. You add four minutes to your life’s clock of time ill used.

We don’t want to suggest that recreational activity–online or otherwise–is intrinsically time misspent, but if we saw our lives as balance sheets divided between time spent on activity that enriches and activity that distracts, chances are much of the viral media that’s out there is basically a waste of time.

study released last year reported that Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks spend an average of 3.2 hours per day on those networks. While there is surely a portion of that time used to good effect, there is surely another (very large) portion that is spent clicking through to sites that add almost no value to our lives. If you’re interested in having more time for the important stuff, we suggest to look out for and, whenever possible, avoid online media with these attributes:

  1. Titles that use the following adjectives: richest, hottest, best, worst. These are almost always the things that lead to a lot of head-scratching and asking, “where did the time go?” and “what did I gain from learning that?”
  2. Virtually any list exceeding 15 items. Sure, every now and again there’s a useful list that’s longer than 15 (e.g. 100 cities with highest quality of life), but more often than not, these lists are a complete waste of time. In fact, most are designed to generate pageviews. Oftentimes, each item on the list has its own discreet page. The more pages you click on, the more ads the site will expose you to, the more revenue they generate. By all means, get drawn into good content, but beware of endless, superfluous lists. CONTINUE READING
LifeEdited shows how to design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy. It’s life. Edited. For more info, visit www.lifeedited.com and check out our 1:40 About video and 5 min TED talk.

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