PORTLAND, Ore - E-mails, texts, tweets, Facebook updates: Do you ever feel overwhelmed keeping up with technology that's supposed to keep you connected?
Never fear, there are ways to manage your tech time and put hours back in your day.
Margo Mead could use the time. The Bethany mother of five is working part time and going to school to become a paralegal. But still, she finds herself getting sucked into Facebook, Pinterest, and Words with Friends multiple times a day.
"I'm just going to check Facebook for a minute, and next thing I know, a half hour has gone by," explained Mead.
Mead is not alone. Americans spend a collective average of 100,000 years on Facebook every month.
"Make technology work for you," encourages Jennifer Jolly, Tech Life Editor for www.tecca.com - the largest female-focused tech website.
Jolly says to start with the website www.rescuetime.com. It's a dashboard that tracks what you do online and for how long.
“So if you find that you're getting distracted every day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with Words with Friends, you can block that from your Internet for those hours,” said Jolly.
You can even block yourself from getting online altogether. The website www.macfreedom.com works in a similar way.
The website www.sanebox.com is another online tool that sifts, sorts, and stacks your e-mails based on what's most important to you.
Finally, when it comes to your smartphone, turn off the instant notifications.
“Those dings, rings and annoying things distract you throughout your day,” said Jolly. “When you start adding up all that time that you lose, you realize what a big impact it's having.”
Mead said she is willing to give these tech blockers a try.
“It's good to know that they are things to help, and it just doesn't take will power and staying strong and staying on track,” she said.