The internet offers an instant and limitless well of information – it’s made life a whole lot easier for all of us!
On the flipside, it provides a limitless number of distractions – one minute you’re researching the best way to make an international conference call, then next minute you’re watching a gif of a grumpy cat, and before you know it six hours have passed and you’ve not done a thing on your to-do list.
And that’s before we get started on social media!
So if you’re working day suffers from fatal distractions, here’s how to stop wasting time…
How do we waste time?
Every person on earth spends an hour online a day – well, that’s roughly how it works out anyway, as globally we spend 7.5 billion hours online each day. If we translate that into years, that’s 856,164 years – enough time to travel from Earth to Mars and back again, 1,426 times.
If you’re online in work, you’ll be fully aware how easy it is to get distracted by content on the internet – whether reading the news, scanning social media, shopping, or simply watching cat videos.
How to stop wasting time
There are any number of ways to waste time on the internet, here are three simple ways to cut procrastination.
1. Stop checking your emails
Emails are an important means of communication, particularly for remote workers, but they can also offer a terrible distraction to anyone working on a computer – and checking your email every five minutes is a massive drain on productivity.
So try closing down your email program or, if that’s not possible – say you’re waiting on an important email – try not to check it so often, maybe even set yourself a schedule when you check your emails.
Stop the social media
Next in line is social media, which is arguably the biggest drains on productivity there is – whether you disappear into a rabbit hole of checking what your mates are up to, get into an online conversation or click on some recommended articles.
The easy solution to this is to completely turn off all social media channels in work time, maybe allowing yourself to check in at lunchtime or at certain allocated times during the day – remembering to give yourself a time limit!
2. Stop shopping online
Online shopping is another major distraction for those of us who work online – and the fact that search engines now target adverts at you based upon your browsing habits doesn’t exactly help!
So if there are websites you can’t help looking at, maybe to see if you can bag a bargain, just block them from your browser – there are a number of apps and extensions that will help you do this.
3. Stop tab hopping
When you’re in research mode, it’s normal to have a number of tabs open at once, the trouble is if your concentration is beginning to wane then you can find yourself aimlessly flicking between tabs, not really paying any attention to anything you’re opening.
The only fixes for this is are to not open as many tabs and make sure you shut down the ones that are no longer in use.
5 more ways to stop wasting time
This infographic from the UMBC, a dynamic public research university integrating teaching, research and service in Maryland, USA, has five more handy ways to stop wasting time.
Have you got any tips to help stop wasting time? Let us know…