Many of us waste far too much of our precious time on the internet. We browse Facebook, our favorite blogs and Twitter –- we randomly google and wikipedia things — truth is, it’s way too easy to get distracted online. And when you need to get work done, it can be surprisingly difficult to quit bad habits. Thankfully, there’s an instant cure now, thanks to Stay Focusd, a Google Chrome productivity extension that allows you to limit the amount of time you spend daily on time-draining (yet somehow addictive) websites.
You’ll save minutes and even hours each day while improving your productivity and the quality of your real life (versus your virtual one). With Stay Focusd, you simply select which sites you waste time on and restrict the length of time you’re able to spend on them; when you reach the selected time limit, your browser won’t allow you to access the website address until the following day. (And if you really need to access it, you can launch the site through an alternate browser). You can also decide to block certain websites completely.
1/ Make Notes. (Yes, the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.) Whether it’s an idea that comes to you during an important phone call, while you’re running an errand or in the middle of your workout (in which case you’ll need to wait, unless it feels urgent enough to pause for a moment and jot your thought in the ‘Notes’ app of your i-phone). When a spark of inspiration strikes, rather than risk losing it – get into the habit of making notes by keeping a notepad on your desk specifically for this sort of thing (or post-its if you prefer –whatever works best for you).
2/ Map Things Out. With a million and one things to do and little time, it’s easy to let things slide. Sometimes we need to schedule a game plan of our day in order to be realistic and sure of getting everything we need done – done. Mapping things out also increases the likelihood of our fitting in activities we want to fit as well. Maybe it sounds unsexy, but the payoff in time saved and enjoyed is well worth it!
3/ 100% Guilt Free Breaks. Giving yourself a breather here and there is essential to maximizing productivity. We are not built like robots meant to sprint nonstop at full speed; if we do, we’ll most likely burn out and feel exhausted emotionally and physically, while being significantly less productive. When you’re losing momentum, change it up – step away from your work for a moment and relax. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and better able to concentrate and be productive.
4/ Use a Timer. When you know you only have a certain amount of time to get something done before heading out the door, use the alarm on your phone (or another timer) so you can truly delve into your work without being worried or distracted you may be running late to another meeting.
* Song for this moment: “Work” by Rihanna, featuring Drake.