Technology entertains us and enables us to do things we could not do before or could not do as easily. But there is a price. Each new gadget and each new program takes time to acquire, learn to use and manage.

Technology is one of the greatest distractions and time consumers today. We are confronted by so many different kinds of technology: television, radio, the internet, smart phones, computers, video games, etc. Each of these takes time to acquire, learn to use, and maintain.

Consider just this one factor: how much time do you spend each day, week, month managing your technology. This includes shopping for and buying new technology and software, configuring software, learning how to use new technology, downloading upgrades, fixing malfunctions, maintenance, and exploring the many options and capacities of the gadgets and software you have. If you kept track of that for just one month you may be shocked.

Follow these three practices to manage your technology and prevent it from taking too much of your time:

1. Weigh the Benefits vs. the Cost of Technology: Next time you are tempted to buy that new gadget or download that new program consider this time expense. Often you can get by just fine with older technology and software. As long as it works well and newer versions do not contain something that will really benefit you be cautious about updating to the newest versions. It costs you in time as well as money.

2. Use the 24 Hour Rule: The next time you are tempted to download a new app or other piece of software or acquire a new device stop. Take at least 24 hours to mull over this decision. Give serious thought to the time cost of acquiring, learning to use and maintain this new technology before buying it. This will reduce the tendency to impulse buy and help you effectively manage your technology related use of time.

3. Weed Out What is Not Time Justified: Technology become obsolete or at least less useful over time. It is easy to accumulate technologies that are redundant. Be ruthless in your management of devices and software. Eliminate old technology that is redundant or ineffective.

Technology can make our lives easier and more productive. It can entertain us. It can also consume precious time to acquire, master and maintain. We must be intentional and prudent about what technology we acquire and keep in light of the time it will consume.

Spend just 30 minutes carefully evaluating your current technology to determine if it is worth the time costs discussed here. If it is not get rid of it. You can save hours of time over a year by being more careful about what technology you acquire and keep.