The Internet gives us unprecedented power to produce, but it simultaneously offers unprecedented chance to distract ourselves.
Slip into the bottomless abyss of email, YouTube, StumbleUpon, and your myriad social feeds and you might as well throw the goals of yours for the day out the window.
But in case you are able to discipline yourself, harness the Internet’s power, and get things done efficiently, then you unlock more time for the hobbies of yours, your family, and the passions of yours.
The key to being much more productive online is not much of a secret at all: it starts and ends with discipline and focus. But below are 4 ways to make this focus and discipline much easier to obtain.
#1 Check out Your Web History
Do you truly understand exactly how you spend? and waste? your time online?
Pull up your browsing history (press Ctrl h) right now. You will probably be surprised. My guess is your history reveals you are visiting certain pages too often and that you are staying on some distracting sites a lot more often than you expect.
When you check the email of yours, your site stats, or perhaps Facebook, you may think, It’ll just take a minute. But when Microsoft studied their employees work habits, they discovered it took their workers fifteen minutes on average to go back to the task at hand after responding to an incoming email or perhaps instant message. And so while little distractions do not take very long by themselves, they usually send you on time consuming tangents.
As you are scrolling through the browsing history of yours, you will begin to identify these patterns and identify your personal trouble sites. The very first step to solving a problem is actually understanding it.
#2 Develop Barriers
Exactly how easy is it for you to go from hard at work’ to hardly working’? 2, perhaps 3 clicks?
Launching an unproductive site is actually likely so effortless, you are able to do it with no conscious thought. The answer is usually to set up barriers which make it deliberate decision every time you access a distracting site.
It may be as easy as automatically logging out of your online accounts (e.g. Gmail, Facebook, Twitter). The way, the next time you go to site you will be welcomed with a log in screen, which is going to give you just enough time to pause and ask yourself, Should I actually be spending time here?
If that is not enough of a barrier for you, there are actually plugins that block distracting sites altogether for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
If software is the big distraction of yours, consider removing shortcuts to these programs on the desktop of yours and menu bars. Make it so the only way to use the offending software is actually by navigating a series of folders.
We have a tendency to follow the path of least resistance. When you set up barriers to accessing your biggest distractions, you are naturally going to access them less frequently.
#3 Improve The Interface
Just as you are able to increase the barriers to distractions, you are able to lower the barriers to productivity. Improve your work interface and you will soon be getting more done a lot sooner.
Make use of a Second Monitor Another Microsoft study showed that a large screen display increases a person’s productivity while working on the pc. A second screen is especially handy in case you are anyone, content manager, web developer, or a designer else who uses a wide range of screen space in the work of theirs.
Use a Mouse If you are using your laptop’s touchpad to navigate around, then you are being inefficient. I suggest picking up a wireless usb mouse.
Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts allow you to navigate even faster than a mouse since you do not have to lift the fingers of yours up from the keyboard.
The shortcuts I use most often are Alt Tab, which allows you to cycle through all open programs, and Ctrl Tab, which allows you to cycle through the tabs of your web browser (holding Shift cycles in reverse).
Together, those 2 shortcuts help me cruise seamlessly from research to writing, but they are only scratching the shortcut surface. In the event that you would like to learn more keyboard shortcuts, you are able to find a complete list of keyboard shortcuts for Macs, Browsers, PCs, and Gmail.
#4 Stop Multitasking
The human brain is regarded as the powerful computer in the planet.
But when it comes to multitasking, we are likely to give it way too much credit. Almost as we believe we are able to juggle 2 or perhaps 3 tasks at once (and almost as digital technology makes that very possible), scientific research demonstrates that the brains of ours can only really focus on a single thing at the same time.
A Stanford study found that heavy multitaskers are actually worse at filtering out info that is irrelevant, organizing the memory of theirs, and also at switching from one thing another.
Different scientific studies indicate that folks switching back and forth rapidly between 2 tasks do not just take longer to finish the job of theirs, they also make more errors. David E. Meyer, director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the Faculty of Michigan, told Time, The toll in terms of slowdown is very large – amazingly so The bottom line is you cannot simultaneously be thinking aproximatelly the tax return of yours and reading an essay, just as you cannot talk to yourself about 2 things at the same time.
Devil’s Advocate: The Case for Multitasking Clearly, there are actually costs to multitasking, but I am not convinced that multitasking cannot boost productivity when done right.
An Ohio State Faculty Study found that multitasking increases work satisfaction. According to researcher Zheng Wang, PhD, multitaskers are not being more effective – they simply feel a lot more emotionally satisfied from their work. For what it is worth, studies show happier folks tend to be more effective.
In the very own personal experience of mine, I have experienced benefits from multitasking that might not show up in a scientific study. Occasionally I will be working on a design project along with a writing project simultaneously. One project is spatial and visual, the other is rational and linguistic. When I encounter a roadblock with writing, switching to design for some time allows me to go back to the article of mine with a rested and fresh mind.
So in case you are likely to multitask, multitask deliberately. Choose 2 tasks that use different parts of the brain of yours and do not switch between them more of than once every 20 minutes.