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Navigating the internet can seem like a minefield, even if you try your hardest to separate work from pleasure. Targeted advertisements designed to draw your attention to them are sitting on every corner of every webpage, showing you those things you simply can’t resist based on your previous search history and marketing data. Click on that shopping website just once and it will follow you around for weeks, showing you the exact item you left behind in your basket and dangling a carrot of a deal to persuade you to complete your purchase. Your inbox is filled with marketing spam too, promoting the latest sales, offers, deals and discounts, each with a tantalising subject line designed to make you click. Couple clever marketing with our new found addiction to social media scrolling and our constant need for visual stimulation and the internet becomes the enemy of productivity. So what can you do if your job involves being online? How can you make sure you get what needs to be done ticked off your list without falling foul to one of the internets many rabbit holes. Here’s how.
- Set intentions for your day
Staring at your laptop or work computer with no clear intention for your day is a recipe for disaster. Before you log in or even open your laptop in the morning start by setting some intentions. An intention can be simply a word or it can be short phrase and it’s designed to align your mind and channel your energy. A few phrases you may wish to try include:
- “I am going to be productive today”
- “Today I will show up for myself”
- “Today I will be selective with my time:
- “Today I will succeed and achieve”
Or a few words that you may want to set as your intention are:
These words and phrases are just a small example of the kinds of things you may want to use as your intention for the day. Once you have decided what your intention is, say it aloud to yourself and write it down somewhere that it will be visible to you throughout the day.
2. Write yourself a to-do list with timings
Another great way to stay your day online is by writing yourself a to-do list, but instead of just writing down a mountain of things you need to do, allocate each a time slot. Some tasks may take longer than others so make sure to give them each a reasonable amount of time and then schedule in a 5-10 minutes after each task to account for the task overrunning or something last minute coming up and pushing your task back. By setting yourself time limits you will be more likely to view your task as deadline and therefore actually do it rather than just moving it to tomorrows list. Assigning a time schedule to your tasks is also a great way to see how much you have on your plate and realistically what you can achieve from the day, which can help you to prioritise. When creating your timing schedule remember to schedule in a couple of breaks for refreshments or to use the bathroom and you can even schedule in administrative tasks such as checking your emails or finally making that phone call you have been putting off.
3. Allow yourself downtime
Whether you decide to use a timetabled schedule for your day or not, you increase your chances of being productive online if you set time aside to relax. Your downtime may involve scrolling social media, looking through a top fashion website’s ‘latest in’ section or you may want to spend some time outdoors or conducting your own personal errands instead. Whatever it is, your downtime is important as it can help your brain to focus when needed and then allows it to relax knowing that it has a specific time slot in the day to do so.
4. Keep your online space organised
Another key thing to consider when trying to maximise your productivity is the organisation of your online space. If you use Google Drive is it easy for you to find what you are looking for or do you waste time opening and closing countless folders looking for a file that you did not name correctly? Is your bookmarks tab being used to its full potential to help you navigate your frequently visited sites and is your menu bar customised to help you get the most out of it? The organisation of your online space could be the root cause behind your lack of productivity, so take some time to put it straight. For more advice on setting up and customising your menu bar, click this link
5. Try solo tasking
You’ve almost definitely heard of multi-tasking but what about solo tasking? Solo tasking is the new trend taking over productivity forums and in essence, involves you giving your full attention to one task rather than trying to do too many things at once. Do one thing well rather than 3 things badly. Solo tasking fits in well with the idea of writing yourself a timetabled schedule and can help your brain to focus on what’s at hand rather than flittering back and forth from task to task. Give it a try to see if you can get more done focusing all of your brainpower on one thing at a time.
6. Use distraction blockers
Finally, if you’ve tried all of the above and still find yourself browsing YouTube or scrolling through your Twitter feed when you should be working then make use of distraction blockers such as Cold Turkey Blocker. Cold Turkey Blocker will block distracting websites such as social media, YouTube and gaming sites so that you physically can’t access them while you should be working, you can even disable the whole internet if you are trying to complete a task offline. If you don’t want to go completely cold turkey then you can schedule in breaks where these websites will be available or give yourself an overall daily time limit before the blocker is activated.