Five Huge Online Timewasters

This post was guest blogged by Alan Johnson, the author of The Online Business Handbook.

I’m sure that you are well aware of the fact that, if you are not careful, you can and will waste a lot of time online, that you can realize that you’ve spend countless hours in front of your computer screen yet haven’t actually done anything useful.

As a result, here are 5 huge timewasters you need to keep in mind:

1) Online Newspapers and Magazine

If you’d want to, you could spend the entire day reading what the online editions of certain newspapers and magazines have to offer but you have to ask yourself: am I actually interested in all of this information?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading the online edition of your favorite newspaper or magazine but on the other hand, going overboard is simply not an option.

2) Forums

As far as forums are concerned, things can get a little bit tricky. On the one hand, they can prove to be an useful source of information as well as a great place to promote certain products but, on the other, they can also turn out to be huge timewasters.

Yes, you can go through what forums have to offer in terms of information and yes, you can even get actively involved, comment when you feel that you have something to say and even start threads but you always need to know when enough is enough.

3) YouTube

It should come as no surprise to see YouTube on this list. Sure, it never hurts to relax every once in a while and as far as some people are concerned, YouTube helps them do just that, but it is important to understand that, if you are not extremely careful, YouTube can and will turn out to be a huge timewaster.

4) and Similar Websites

I’m sure it’s more than obvious how you can waste a lot of time on websites such as Digg. It’s perfectly fine to go through a few stories or follow a certain category, but everything has a limit and I’m sure that you have better things to do with your time than spend the entire day Digg.

5) Instant Messengers

Of course, chatting can be fun but instant messengers can also prove to be quite time-consuming, and, as with everything else, moderation is simply a must. Chatting every once in a while is just fine, but spending hours upon hours on IM is not exactly my idea of being productive.

In the end, you have to realize that time is your most important asset and, as a result, you have to be extremely selective when it comes to the activities you spend time on. Again, there is nothing wrong with reading the online editions of a few newspapers or magazines, spending some time on forums, YouTube, Digg or instant messengers but, as with everything else in life, you have to understand that there is a limit to the time you should be spending on such tasks on a daily basis.