Web developer and Zen Habits guest poster Glen Stanberry has an interesting perspective on how to keep control of your productive time - by treating the increasing demands on your time as 'feature creep' into the software of your life. These kind of time stealing features can be mobile phones, IM, social networking sites, etc.
He suggests a few tactics for cutting out or reining in some of these 'features' in our lives, including setting hard deadlines on internet usage, and importantly, weighing up the pros and cons before signing up to any new online accounts:
"Every social media account that you sign up for will require at least some attention. They send frequent emails, and ultimately try to get you on their site.If you need to set up a ton of accounts, be sure that the email settings are turned waaaay down so that the amount of email you receive is minimal."
The amount of spam that most social networking sites generate can be huge. I've reined it in by turning off email notifications wherever possible. A social networking aggregator like FriendFeed can help reduce time wasting because it centralises your notifications and friend updates - so you only see them when you choose to visit the site.
So how do you reduce 'feature creep' in your life?