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    How to Manage an Effective Online Life

    By guest contributor Ciera Holzenthal. Photography by Aram Bedrossian.

    One of my 30 before 30 goals was to spend less time online. This has proven to be much harder than expected! I have been struggling for a balance. I want to stay connected and inspired without getting totally overwhelmed. While trying to grow my blog and get myself out there in the design world, I feel like it is hard to get away from my computer. I am constantly looking to make new connections, and well, that involves a lot of online time!

    There is a fine line between being productive online and getting sucked into the procrastination circle of the internet. Everyday I struggle with this, as I’m sure some of you do as well. So to try and create a better balance, I have come up with a few tips to having a fun, active online world without having it take over your life.


    I am huge on planning and list making so of course that is going to be my first suggestion. Make a to-do list of your top online priorities each day so you don’t get distracted.


    Come up with a realistic schedule of the time you need online daily. When that time is up then move on! I like to check all my social media while I drink my coffee in the morning. But if you know that starting your day online is only going to lead to major procrastination, save that until the end of the day. Setting your email to only check every hour also helps to minimize wasted time.


    If you are using social media to procrastinate, just say no! You should use it for the reasons on your list and then get outta there!


    Don’t feel the need to prove yourself. You know that you’re having a busy day but don’t need to update your networks each time you send an email. Share the inspiring and important parts of your day, when you publish a blog post, list an item to your Etsy shop or receive a new piece of artwork that you ordered!


    Hide or unfollow people and blogs that are negative or make you feel jealous or frustrated, for whatever the reason may be. This is a good way to keep your online world positive. If you are not sure, opt out of these blogs for a few days and see how you feel.


    Interact with people instead of just following. I love being able to connect with all types of people all over the world, that is what excites me about social media. Trust me, most people out there would love to have a little twitter convo or go back and forth for a while on Facebook! Leaving comments on a blog is also a great way to connect. It lets the author know the time they devote to their content is appreciated.

    Reader Comments (4)

    Social media management is totally my downfall. I keep windows open all day long and find myself checking them even when I'm busy, "just in case". I'll try to cut down tomorrow and see how it goes :)

    Sep 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina Ramchandani

    Very helpful information thank you so much for taking the time to write this :) I've also check a couple of other articles. I'm new to the blog world so I'm very excited to learn

    Sep 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZulema

    These tips are so helpful. I have been catching myself staying in front of my laptop for so many hours these last days and my eyes don't look that great either (bloody red). Although I am creating some qualitative blog posts that I'm proud about, that does not justify the sooo many hours I am wasting strolling online (you see I can't even write down a number -I am that embarrassed).

    Sep 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

    Great tips. It can be overwhelming when you spend too much time online and it is amazing how much you can get done when you're offline and have a plan. BTW, I am really loving the Alt blog. There are so many helpful articles on here. I love learning from others and how they balance it all.

    Sep 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAli Henrie

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