I’ve been throwing stuff into the Cloud (Internet) only for a year. Online ZEN is just a little bit about how I’m using the Cloud more efficiently to make my life in the physical realm easier. Thanks for joining me in unveiling my rhythm in the Cloud! =)

Sometimes I’m asked how I have time to do what I do here in the Cloud. I’m sure people wonder whether I actually have a life offline as well. Here’s the great news: I do have a fun social life, I go to parties, I exercise, I cook, I even paint (sort of! See ←). And I do not document all of my activities online. I could, but I choose not to. But I do see the Cloud as an excellent tool for connection, both personally and professionally. 3 ways to be more efficient online follow.

Kat's Latest Painting, Still in Progress

Here’s the Cluster Approach and how I have time for Cloud-jumping and online-businessing:

1. Save a little cluster of time every day or every other day for Cloud-jumping (or Internet-swimming, or whatever you’d like to call it). The time cluster can be 30 minutes, an hour, or five hours. Your choice. Just understand that 30 minutes per day will reap very slow results, and that’s ok. If you go with five hours, you become more likely to lose focus and perform less efficiently. Just be aware. Anything you choose is ok.

Also, make sure that the cluster is a tight, well thought out, efficient, focused chunk of time.

2. Have an intent established before going online rather than just floating around from here to there aimlessly. Because I’m dedicated to my intent, I often miss things. I’m rarely the first to find out about news. I’m often the last to know about the latest posts on my favorite blogs. And this is all ok because I’m getting my most important projects done by staying dedicated to my intent. Granted, if something really noteworthy catches my eye, then I entertain it, but I always return to my original intent for being online.

3. Finally, let go of worries of missing something by not skimming through the entire Facebook news feed from the day, by not checking your Reader for a few days or weeks, by not checking Email (gasp!) for a day. It’s inevitable that news will come to me, and I’m ok with receiving it last or not receiving it at all. Fortunately, my cluster time is set up efficiently, so I am able to interact pretty well online. But first and foremost, my most important projects and intent remain clear.

Here’s The Cluster Approach sample schedule:

Morning: Shower, stretch, meditate, eat, contribute to most important projects for 2 hours, do only time-sensitive Cloud Cluster tasks, see clients.
Lunchtime: Eat lunch only.
Afternoon: Work on most important projects for 2 hours, see clients, go running, Cloud Cluster for 2.5 hours (includes emptying email inbox)
Evening: Relax, eat dinner, spend time with loved ones, Cloud Cluster for 1 hour, go to bed

For instance, I spend two hours a day working on my most important projects before checking email, then I see clients, then I ponder and mediate and get inspired in some way. Then I share my inspiration and interact online.

I usually don’t use “musts” and “shoulds,” but for the sake of ease (and efficiency!): In order for Online ZEN to work for you, you must take baby steps and have patience. Take lots of breaks, and take good care of yourself . . . You must see online interaction as fun instead of cumbersome or frustrating. You must have a perspective of “openly sharing” your ideas instead of “fearfully exposing” your ideas.

If you liked this post, you’d also like Online ZEN 3: Create a Website in 4 Minutes and Reduced Inboxes = Reduced Work.

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