Most days, my to-do list gets longer as the day wears on. That's not the way it's supposed to be, I tell myself. But inevitably, the more I try to cross things off, the more I remember at least three other things I need to get done. Many times, the shopping, the laundry, the bill paying and yes, the email correspondence spills into my evenings and weekends. I know it is cliche to say a mother's work is never done. But geez, now that I am living this whole 24/7 job, I know it is true.
So when my colleagues at Yahoo! decided to survey Americans about February 29th, Leap Day, I was eager to find out if everyone else feels as excited as I do about having an extra day this year (too bad it's not a day off!). Well, the results are in and half of Americans surveyed earlier this month say they don't have enough time in a given day. A third of the people ages 18-44 believe an extra day could help them get their lives in order.
One area of our busy lives that seems to creep up and suddenly clutter our schedules is our online activities. Whether it is organizing email or updating social networking profiles or figuring out where you put that dang password (AGAIN!), technology takes up a lot of time. In fact, 40% of the 2000 adults questioned in the Leap Day survey said that if they had an extra day, they would spend some time cleaning up their online lives.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas to help get our web lives in order this Leap Day:
Break Up With Bac'n
Bac'n is the opposite of SPAM. It's email you volunteered to receive, (oftentimes by mistake), but you rarely or never read it. Take a few minutes to go down the list and decide whether you really need to be on the mailing list.
HINT: If you usually hit delete it before you've even opened it, it's time to part ways and unsubscribe.
Let Go of Old Email
Think of trashing old emails as kind of like sending all those shoes and bridesmaid dresses you will never wear again to Goodwill. It's so liberating to let go once you actually take the time to say goodbye once and for all. Feel the weight lift off your shoulders when you take a few minutes to empty out that unwieldy inbox.
HINT: While you are at it, set up folders and filters so you can keep the flood under control.
Whittle Down Your Social Network
I know, we always want everyone to like us. But honestly, do you really need to accept every invitation to join yet another social networking site? And furthermore, be honest, do you really make use of the ones you're on now? Leap Day is a good excuse to start saying no to the social spaces that don't make sense and yes to the ones that really matter to you!
HINT: Think about your reasons for social networking. Are you looking for a job? Are you a new mom looking for support? Are you keeping touch with college friends? Figure out your priorities and then nix the rest.
Aaaaah....Deep breath! Doesn't that feel better? Streamlining your cyber-life can actually make you feel a bit more peaceful. It may not help when you open the fridge at 10pm to discover you've run out of bananas or milk for the baby or forgot to pick up the dry cleaning and the one suit you really wanted to wear to that 7am breakfast meeting. But, hey, every little bit we can chip away at the mountain of tasks on our maternal shoulders helps. Think of your Leap Day clean-up as another way to relieve stress and make more time for the stuff that really counts.
Please check out my website, www.thewellmom.com and sign up for my weekly email for more tips and inspirational stories about motherhood and the pursuit of wellness in mind, body and spirit.
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