5 Ways to Increase Your Online Productivity

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 Written by Jose Baldizon

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Lessen Distractions and Increase Your Productivity

In today's always-connected world, where a distraction is an easy mouse click (or finger gesture) away, even the most driven entrepreneurs can find it difficult to stay productive on the Web.

If you’re like most young entrepreneurs, your daily to-do list resembles the inventory list of a small supermarket, and the success of your startup heavily depends on your ability to strikethrough as many items off your list as possible.

But even productivity mavens aren't immune to the distractions the Internet facilitates. That's because distractions on the Web are difficult to identify as distractions.

Web content can be interesting and entertaining, and it’s structured so that you smoothly transition from one interesting piece of content to the next. You take a break to read a few personal emails, and you end up browsing deals on LivingSocial and commenting on a friend's photo on Facebook. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid these common productivity pitfalls. Here are five ways you can increase your productivity on the Web:

1. Stick to One Task at a Time

Whatever you do, don’t juggle tasks. There are plenty of studies that reveal that multitasking is the enemy of productivity. If you're working on your website, work on your website; if you're writing a paper, write the darn paper. Don't have multiple windows and tabs open. And don't bother minimizing them either; seeing them dormant in the taskbar (Windows users) will tempt you to open them.

2. Turn Off Your Smartphone

If you want to be able to focus on a task, you need to make yourself unavailable. This means turning off your smartphone. Don't think your phone is getting in your way? How many times have you reached for it while reading this article? Aha! If you absolutely can't turn your phone off, then silence it and keep it out of sight. If you're able to see that blinking red light it will get the best of you.

3. Keep Your Gizmos Out of Sight

Just like your smartphone, e-readers, tablets, and iGadgets are equally distracting. To make matters worse, designers make these devices aesthetically pleasing and addicting to touch (bastards!). Turn them off and keep them out of sight.

4. Avoid Music Streaming Websites

Last.fm, and Grooveshark are awesome services. They're also addicting communities that encourage active membership, which can be a huge time-suck. If you work best listening to Lady Gaga and Eminem, put together a lengthy playlist on iTunes or use the songs on your computer's music folder. Just remember to minimize the playlist window before getting down to business.

5. Google at Your Own Risk

For anyone who makes a living in front of a keyboard, search engines are invaluable tools. But a Google search can easily lead to watching skateboarding bloopers on YouTube. If your search is pertinent to your business, write it down on your to-do list (keep that to-do list out of site) and search for it later. Of course, all entrepreneurs avoid distractions and get work done in their own creative way. What's your best way to stay focused?

Jose Baldizon is a creative writer and editor and when he's not scribbling in his notepad, he is working on his new website, LearnWriter.com, or keeping up with the latest tech gadget gossip.

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