Three Tips to Stay Focused While on the Internet
Kat / Vertical Axion
You’re going through your new e-mail and you stumble on an article that looks interesting. You read it, and there are a couple of links at the bottom that recommend other things you might be interested in. You click on one, and it takes you to a ten minute video on YouTube. At the end of the video, there’s a “follow me” link for the person who wrote the article AND made the video. Well, you need to follow them! You log into your Twitter account, read all of your new alerts, follow your new source for information, and –
Wait. Weren’t you just checking your e-mail? And lo and behold, you’ve wasted an hour of your time, your meeting is in 20 minutes, and you’re still in your pajamas. Don’t deny it – it’s happened to you. Why? Because it happens to everyone.
So how do you regain control and focus on what you need to get done? Here are a couple of ideas that may lead to success.
Limit Your Time Checking Your Email
It pains us to say this, because there are tons of valuable resources that you can find in your email. But sometimes you just have to time yourself, and when your hour is up, abandon your email. Avoid checking it the rest of the day if you can. If you can’t, at least focus on getting something done before you check it again.
Work in Blocks
There are several techniques out there that encourage people to work in blocks of time. The general idea is that you work, undistracted, for 30-60 minutes. If a thought does distract you, write it down on your “to-do” list and keep on working. Giving in to your mental distractions will only slow down the speed at which you do your project. After your designated amount of time of work, take a 5-10 minute break and enjoy yourself. Don’t look at the computer. Check your Facebook. Lean back in your chair. Then get right back to work.
Don’t Have too Many Open Tabs on Your Browser
Sometimes it’s amazing to think about how people browsed the Internet before the invention of the tab. Currently, my Chrome window has 13 tabs open, all of which are ready to distract me from the work at hand. Sometimes it’s completely necessary to have all of these tabs open, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trim them on a regular basis. Take some time at the end of the day and close tabs that you know aren’t going to help you do your work the next time you see your computer (notably, social media websites).