At times having a job that involves spending a lot of time online can feel a little like walking a tight rope. The internet has grown into a marketing tool designed to capture our attention, draw us in and take our focus, which can make it near impossible to steer clear of the targeted ads, endless spam emails and constant advertisements that are pushed our way when trying to go about our working day. So what can we do to try and stay on track and become more productive online? Here are 4 things to try
- Write a to-do list every day
Writing a to-do list is a great way to stay on top of what work needs to be done for that day and visualise your tasks ahead. Simply having a to-do list is a great start but to go one further and really maximise your potential productivity try adding in time allocations for each task. This will help you to better visualise what you need to get done and to see what really is possible during the day. Timings are also a clever way to trick your brain into treating everyday tasks as a strict deadline increasing your chances of actually getting them done rather than simply putting them on tomorrows to-do list. When creating your timing schedule, add a little gap between each task of 5-10 minutes incase a task should overrun and also remember to schedule in a break at least every 90 minutes to allow your mind to refocus. Once during the day, you will want to schedule in a slightly longer lunch break for refreshments and you may even want to fit in some additional administrative time for tasks such as checking emails and making necessary phone calls.
- Allow yourself some downtime
If you decide to give writing a timetabled to-do list a go then hopefully you will have already scheduled in some downtime throughout your day. But if you decide that a timetabled to-do list isn’t for you, that’s no excuse to skip your breaks. Skipping breaks can lead to an overworked and distracted mind which will actually decrease your productivity. Even if you only have 10 minutes to set aside for a break each day, make sure you take it. To reap the most benefits from your break try to get outside in the fresh air, switch of momentarily from whatever work you have going on on and let yourself relax. 10 minutes of good quality break is better than an hour eating lunch at your desk and afterwards you will feel revitalised and ready to crack on again.
- Organise your digital space
It would be hard to work at a desk cluttered with un-named paper, misplaced folders and random personal items which don’t belong there and your online space is no different. If you use digital storage such as Google Drive ensure to name all folders and files correctly to make them easy to find, clear away any junk mail and unnecessary emails so that you can see clearly what you need to act on and make sure that your laptop itself is set up to help you achieve productivity by having all of your most-used applications readily accessible and making the most of your bookmarks within your toolbar. If you want to learn more about customising the menu bar on your computer you can do so in this article – https://setapp.com/how-to/customize-menu-bar-on-mac
- Make use of distraction blocking software
Being distracted on the internet has become such a common workplace issue that there are now numerous tools out there, such as distraction blockers, which have been specifically designed to help people steer clear of the most tempting parts of the internet. Software such as Cold Turkey Blocker can be set up to block your access to gaming sites, social media, YouTube and retail websites, or if you find that you need to be more productive offline you can even block the internet altogether. If it’s your smartphone that you keep reaching fort hen there are productivity Apps for those too. Apps such as Forest have been designed to help you train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused or for a more strict approach, there are apps such as Offtime which tracks your social media usage and enables you to schedule time outs where it will block your access to these accounts.
It’s safe to say that staying focused online is a difficult task and there are many things stacked against you but by even reading this post you are on your way to improving your productivity, so give a few of the things above a try and see how you get on.
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