With the increase in fun online activities literally at our finger tips, both work and leisure are turning your attention to the internet. Streaming sites like Netflix offer countless hours of entertainment, while online casinos offer a thrill from the comfort of your own home, as does online shopping. A big concern with all of this online activity and entertainment is about keeping payments safe online, but there are products like paysafecard, which uses a one-time PIN to purchase goods and services online. However, this is more about the amount of time that these activities can rob from you.
Especially if you work from home or own your own business, these online draws can be quite the distraction. Couple that with the work-focused online distractions, and one can feel quite overwhelmed. However, with great internet access comes many handy tools to monitor and moderate this internet use and keep you on track.
First, you need to identify your goals, evaluate how you are spending your time, and then see where you are deviating from these goals with what occupies you away from more important tasks. There are two major online distractions pinpointed; focusing on legitimate business distractions instead of leisurely time killers. To go even further, here are a productivity tips for dealing with those distractions.
Email is a time disturber, without question; especially with the mass amounts of advertisement or promotional emails that flood the average person’s inbox on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the majority of business operations cannot avoid email altogether, so it is important to have a good system for tackling this mass of communication information.
Filter through the mass. There are many great (and free) email filtering tools out there that are ripe for the picking. If you are working from a Gmail account, use the Gmail Priority Inbox, or another inbox organiser. Also, when you must apply to emails, keep them short and succinct. Avoid writing more than three sentences in a reply.
Social media is another unavoidable pursuit these days, but however fun and engaging it can be, it can also consume a lot of your time. With so many mediums and so many different conversations to follow and respond to, it’s enough to make your head spin and for your productivity to get turned around with it.
The best tool to manage your social media platforms is a good social CRM tool. Something like Hootsuite is good for this, and the first three social platforms are free. Social dashboard tools allow for all of your social platforms to be displayed in a single location and allow you to respond or update on all platforms simultaneously. You can also set up timed postings so that updates are automatic instead of manually achieved. These features will help you avoid wasting time going back and forth between networks and will help you stay on top of responses and posting new content.
Finally, you can also use browser extensions, like StayFocusd, to set a timer to limit your daily use on specific sites. This is particularly effective if you tend to have non-work related distractions seep into your workday.
Your time is one of the most valuable things that you possess, since you can never get it back and because precisely what you do with it can mean the difference between success or struggle. Ultimately, the only way to deal with online distractions during your workday is to implement organisation and limit your time spent on these time wasters.
This post is authored by Alice Robinson