In order to get things done, you need to know how to focus on your tasks. There are many distractions and interruptions around us, and we need to learn how to deal with it. The internet make things worse. Being connected to the World Wide Web means that you expose yourself to a vast amount of information, distractions and interruptions.
In this hectic pace of the world, you can easily over extend yourself and get pulled all over the place by different things and people. It is only a matter of time before you get overwhelmed and stressful. When you are overwhelmed, it is hard to focus yourself on getting the essential tasks done. Being in front of the computer is one of the most distracting places to be. Think about the time you spent on Twitter, Facebook and your email inbox. Most of us work in front of our computer for long hours, therefore it is important to learn how to focus and stay in control instead of allowing distractions and interruptions to take control.
Most people do not have a purpose in mind when they are in front of the computer. This can easily lead to mindless surfing and time wastage. You have to be clear about what you want to accomplish when you are going to work with your computer.
If you have to work with your computer, get to know your purpose first. What do you want to accomplish in an hour? What are the sites that you need to visit that are relevant to your purpose? Once you got that in mind, write it down on a piece of paper. Visit only the sites that are relevant to your work. This will help you to be more productive and decrease the probability of you straying into time waster sites like Facebook and Twitter.
2) Open Only Relevant Tabs In Your Browser
All the popular browsers can open up multiple tabs. It may be a convenient feature to have but it encourages multi tasking. Most of us open way too many tabs on our browser and multi-surf all the sites at one go.
Multi tasking can spread your focus too thin. Opening too many tabs at once will distract you from your work. You tend to stray and surf for stuffs that are not relevant to work. Open as little tabs as possible. Choose only to open tabs for essential sites that you need to help you complete your work. Keep working on disciplining yourself to only open tabs that are relevant to your work.
3) If You Lack Discipline, Try This
If you find yourself wasting too much time on time waster sites (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon), try out this method. Firefox and Google Chrome allow us to use third party plugins. There are some wonderful productivity tools out there but one of the best tools you can use is LeechBlock for Firefox. If you are using Google Chrome, you can try out StayFocused .
These tools can help to block out time waster sites at any time of the day. When you spend less time on these sites, you have more time for your essential tasks.
4) Blast All Notifications Away. An Hour Of Isolation
Notification alert is an interruption and eliminating it helps a lot in imcreasing your productivity. Turn off notification alert from email, Twitter, Facebook and switch your cell phone to silent mode or turn it off. These are tigers waiting to pounce on you. Just when you start to focus to get things done, your phone rang and you can't resist to pick it up and chat with your friend for an hour. You can avoid these interruptions easily by turning off your phone and notifications.
To prevent further interruptions, tell your colleagues to avoid interrupting you during the period when you are working. Create an hour of isolation. Put up a sign on your table to remind them that you are in your "hour of isolation". One of the best ways is to put on your earpiece. Your earpiece is the best weapon against interruptions. There is a less tendency that someone will interrupt you when you have your earpiece on.
5) Parkinson's Law
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
You need to create time blocks for your tasks. We tend to complete our work with all the available time we have. This means that a shorter deadline will help us to complete our project much faster. A project that can be completed in a week may end up taking a month to complete instead when there is a longer deadline.
This is inefficient and a waste of time. To be productive, you need to have a deadline (a suitable one of course) for all your tasks. If you think that you need around a month to complete your project, set the deadline a little nearer. This will help to stretch yourself and create the sense of urgency to get things done faster.
How About You?
What are your methods for increasing your productivity while you are working with your computer? Do share with us some ideas in the comment section.