We spend a lot of our time online, but how much of it is wasted time. It’s easy to get lost in all that the internet has to offer, but not so great when you have things to do. When you’re working for yourself, your time is precious, which is why it’s important to find ways to stay focused and stop wasting your time.
So how can you make the most of your time online and stay productive? Take a look at these tips and hacks that will help you stay on track.
Use an App Blocker Tool
If you tend to spend a lot of your time reading Reddit or scrolling through Instagram and Facebook multiple times a day, it’s time to put an end to it. There are some fantastic online tools that work as website blockers for productivity. Ideal for when you need to focus or you’re studying, you can stop the temptation to procrastinate by preventing access altogether. Some tools even let you set time limits so that you still retain access to these websites, but for an amount of reasonable time that you control.
Set Aside Time in Your Day for Fun
Another tactic you could try is to set aside some time in your day for your fun browsing. That means if you want to do some online shopping or spend time watching YouTube videos, that there’s a set time in the day to do it. This could be the first thing in the morning, at lunch, or at the end of the day as a reward for your hard work. When you get into the mindset of only doing fun browsing at certain points of the day, you can use the rest of your time online for the tasks you need to complete.
Track Your Time
Not convinced that you waste that much time online? Why not challenge yourself by tracking your time? It can come as something of a shock to discover just how much time you spend online, forcing you to take some drastic action. Set yourself a challenge to track your time spent online over the course of the week, detailing when you were using the internet for work and productive tasks, and when you were simply wasting time.
Save Time Doing Tasks Online
There’s no doubt that the internet can be a time-saver, as well as a time-waster. Used wisely, you can use technology to save you time and money, freeing up your time for other things. Take your grocery shopping, for example, a quick online order takes minutes, but going to the supermarket, wandering the aisles and bringing it all home can eat into your day. A delivery to your door will save you a lot of time, as well as help you make better food choices.
There are many other things that can be done quickly online. Your banking and paying your bills are two easy ways you can save time online. By automating several online tasks, you could save yourself a lot of time that can be spent doing other things such as exercise or even going to bed earlier!
While cookies can have an impact on your privacy, they can be sweet, just like the tasty treat they’re named after. By choosing to enable cookies on Mac or PC, you can benefit from a more personalised web browsing experience, that can make things simpler and quicker. You can still disable cookies on specific websites that you don’t want to keep your data, but for online shopping and other tasks, it can be a great way to make your time online more productive.
Get Rid of Notifications
If you didn’t receive a notification telling you to go on Instagram or Facebook, would you visit as often? Notifications can act as a prompt to browse, even if you had no intention of spending any time on these websites. By stopping your notifications, you’ll stop breaking your focus and only spend more quality time online. Stopping notifications on your phone can have the same effect, helping you become better at switching off from your devices.
Stop the Temptation From Online Retailers
Online retailers can cause several issues when it comes to your online activity. If you’re even the slightest bit of a shopaholic, an email highlighting a discount or sale can be particularly tempting. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, you can find yourself spending a lot of time browsing. One way to stop the temptation is to redirect the emails from your favourite retailers into one email folder. This will not only help you avoid seeing them, but it could save you money too. Only when you’re ready to actually buy something should you go in that folder. It might seem drastic, but it could have a big impact on your productivity, as well as your spending habits.
When Productivity Stops, Step Away From the Computer
When you spend a lot of time browsing online to the point that you’re just wasting time for the sake of it, it’s time to step away from the computer. This wasted time could be spent doing much more valuable things, such as working out or doing some housework. Why not go for a walk and put some physical distance between yourself and the computer? That way, you can clear your head and return fresh and ready to work again.
Spending hours and hours browsing without a purpose will leave you tired and irritable, so start learning where your level is and vow to step away from the computer whenever this happens.
There are plenty of other simple ways you can regain your productivity, ready to concentrate once again at the task in hand.
Stop Using Multiple Windows
Having multiple windows open on your computer is like having a remote control and hundreds of TV channels. The temptation to flick is great, and you’ll likely find yourself going back and forth between tabs as you lose your focus across multiple tasks. Why not stop using multiple windows and tabs and instead just focus on one at a time. This will make you much more likely to stick with what you need to do and stop browsing elsewhere.
Get Rid of Offline Distractions
While you can find plenty of things to distract yourself with online, there are also offline distractions that can stop you from being productive. The TV is a great example of this, as trying to watch TV whilst doing work is actually harder than it seems. The same can be said for being in a room full of people – sometimes you just need some peace and quiet to function.
Finding ways to minimise distractions can help make sure you retain your focus and become more effective with your time. It takes a lot of discipline on your part, but you can get there if you try.
Staying productive throughout the working day isn’t easy, but it helps if you can limit how much time you waste online. By making your working time more effective and putting the right tools in place, you can stop falling into the browsing trap and start doing things easier, faster and better.
Staying disciplined is something you need to teach yourself, but you will get there once you start forming better habits. Are you guilty of wasting too much time online? Learn how to use your time better and start making your time online more productive.