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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Get Off Your Computer and on with your Life

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Get Off Your Computer and on with your Life

Ever get on the computer and then find you are still on there...hours later....and you didn't intend to be? Did you ever wonder why that happened? I often do. It's one thing if you have a project that you are working on, but if you are like me....and all you can remember is a flurry of email and visiting websites and reading mindless crap, then it's time to clean up your act and get on with your life. Here's how to streamline your internet time.

With email:

  • Deal with email at a time other than first thing in the morning. I struggle with this...but this is what keeps me on there too long to begin to a bad start. Check it mid-morning, and you'll get thru it faster. If something is truly urgent, someone will have called you about it.
  • Get off email mailing lists. This may be easier said than done! The legitimate ones, go ahead and unsubscribe from them. For the others, just mark them as spam and they'll get directly deleted or sent to your spam folder. For those of you who still like but just don't have time for these lists, most email programs will let you assign a folder to incoming email. That way, all those newsletters will go into one folder and out of your inbox. Iff you do get some downtime, you can go and do some reading without feeling the pressure of having to clear your inbox.
  • Block junkmail senders. Tell family and friends you just don't have time to read joke and forwarded emails. And those you just get randomly....block them.
  • Sort your email. Make folders for various projects or by person, follow up on longer responses next time you open email.
  • Delete trash folder once a week on Friday. I like to keep trash around and not delete it immediately, just in case I do miss something, but even I have my limits.
  • Have an action or temporary file and empty it once a week or when the item is completed.
  • Have a read file and read during breaks at work.
  • Always put a title you can understand in emails you send out..use that subject line to your...and the other person's... advantage.
  • Track your email checking and responding for one day and prepare to be shocked. Make email checking just a part of your day and not your whole day.
If you are a total email power user:
  • When writing your emails
    • Use brief are not writing any essays.
    • Get right to the point at the beginning of your email.
    • Provide accurate info in your email.
    • Don't forward junk.
    • Keep a stock file of FAQ and common responses.
    • Re-read your email before you send it. It's amazing the syntax and other errors we make. This way you can also catch when something just doesn't sound right or come across how you meant it.
    • Have a plan for what you are going to do when you get off the computer.
    • Make a conscious decision to get off the computer at a certain time. Use a timer or alarm if you have to.
And to keep yourself from spending hours on the internet, visiting one site after another...make a notation of which sites you are going to visit today. Don't click on links elsewhere, but just file ones that sound interesting, away for future reference, when you do have more time. I keep a small spiral notebook and write in websites and articles I'd like to read....but it's just like magazine often do you read each magazine cover to cover? You just don't...there isn't enough time in the day, and you have to realize that from the get go. Don't waste another minute of your life on here. Get off the computer and enjoy more of life:-)) See you next week!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh!! Thank you for the reminder...I find myself checking our banking and then I check mail, forgot to pay bill, back to the banking website...I seriously am glad that you posted this. Since my husband deployed, I feel like I need to be accomplishing tasks all day and forget to live a little. Time to take the kids out for pizza! You are a blessing!

August 16, 2008 at 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... are SO right. I really needed this reminder. If my husband only knew how many hours I spent on here!

August 17, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

You should try Gmail. You can have inbox items labeled immediately (before you ever read them) by sender or subject. You "archive" instead of saving to folders and you can archive TONS of emails. Then when you want something, use the google search bar in your gmail and search by keyword.
When my fiance was deployed I got him to switch to Gmail because the interface is totally clean. No annoying ads or frames, so it loads faster than any online email.

(Sorry this isn't meant to sound to spammy, I just seriously love gmail. =)

August 20, 2008 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger Megan@Disorder2Order said...

This is a GREAT POST!

You have made so many good points. I find myself (daily) un-subscribing, however I do love getting new information. It's hard to know what you need and what you love. What I have found to be a great tool is to SET LIMITS of the amount of time. It's been really helpful in controlling my time spent.

August 20, 2008 at 5:50 AM  

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