8 Ways To Be More Productive Online
As we continue to run full speed ahead into the digital age more people than ever are relying on the internet as their main source of income. Although the online world is a magical place filled with education, possibilities, prospects and wonder, it is also a minefield for those of us who often find ourselves procrastinating or are easily distracted. With the internet having so much to offer it can be very hard to concentrate and stay focused at work and you may be noticing that your to-do list is growing and deadlines are looming. So what can you do to keep your mind on what matters, stop procrastinating and be more productive? Well start by procrastinating a little longer and reading the following 8 solutions:
Close all of your unnecessary tabs and windows
Of course it’s going to be hard to concentrate if something more interesting keeps catching your eye, such as the multitude of tabs at the top of your browser. Bookmark that holiday you were researching earlier and save the online shopping for later – the science here is simple, clear your line of vision to stop you being distracted. The bookmarks bar really is going to be your best friend and will enable you to organise tabs for both your work and personal life whilst keeping them out of your direct line of sight. By filing these tabs away, they are more likely to stay out of mind and you can get back to what you were meant to be doing.
Turn off your email notifications
Nothing is more distracting than that little email notification sliding into the top of your screen, it’s even more distracting if it’s accompanied by a noise. Although it may not be possible to turn email notifications off forever, at least remove the most distracting ones or try having set time periods throughout your day dedicated to checking your emails. Close your inbox or mute notifications outside of these scheduled times and focus on your to-do list. Turning off notifications and closing your inbox will stop you being distracted by any incoming emails and will allow you to prioritise the work already on your plate, rather than jumping to a new task mid way through.
Force yourself to stop
If you really can’t be trusted and lack any form of self control then it’s time to force yourself to focus by blocking your access to particular sites using browser extensions or Apps such as Freedom, Self Control or These programmes work best when deployed simultaneously on your phone and computer and will stop you reaching over to check Instagram on your phone just because you blocked Twitter on your laptop.
Keep an organised digital filing system
Whether you save files to your device or to the cloud you need to keep things organised. Keeping your drive organised isn’t rocket science, like kubernetes vs docker swarm (that tech will really blow your mind, don’t procrastinate by clicking that link…) so invest some time into creating an intuitive, easy to navigate folder structure and properly name all your documents so that you can find things easily, you can then put the time you will gain back to much better and more productive use.
Forget mutli-tasking, solo tasking is the way forward for maximum productivity. Studies have shown that multitaskers not only take longer to complete their work but make more mistakes too. This seems like an obvious conclusion to make as when we try to multitask our brains are donating energy to different projects, when this energy would be better spent focused on one particular task or thing. Prioritise your to-do list, tackle it one item at a time and give 100% of your concentration to each task.
Improve your setup
Sometimes we need to take a step back and assess our working environment, is it set up for productivity? If you find yourself continuously jumping between windows on your computer then it may be time to look at getting a second monitor which will enable to do your job more easily. If your laptop traction pad drives you up the wall then consider a wireless usb mouse. Upgrading your work setup will have a huge impact on your concentration levels and ability to do your job effectively.
Make your deadlines final
Moving a deadline benefits no-one, yet we’ve all done it. Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? Parkinson stated that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”, so to combat this, make your deadlines final (before they actually are final) by giving yourself a finite amount of time to complete them. For example, try working from a cafe or somewhere which will have to close, treat the closing time as your deadline for the task. Another way to utilise Parkinson’s law is to unplug your laptop and use your battery life as an enforced deadline. How you make use of Parkinson’s law is up to you, but in essence you are applying pressure on yourself and forcing yourself into action.
If you must procrastinate do it strategically
Some people work best under pressure but if applying Parkinson’s Law doesn’t work for you and your only motivation is your final deadline then procrastinate strategically and purposefully leave work until the last minute to force you to do it. Don’t just rest on your laurels whilst you procrastinate, make good use of this time working towards other projects. This method is of course riddled with risks and any last minute set backs could cost you dearly, so use it only if all else fails.
Being unproductive helps no-one and will simply make you stressed and cost you time in the long run. Try each of the above eight things and find out which of them helps to improve your productivity – it may be that a combination of all eight are the answer to your problems. So it’s time to stop reading this article and get back to work, the most productive work day of your life starts now.