Being productive can be challenging in general, but for those who spend most of their time working digitally, finding productivity becomes a unique struggle. While we can’t yet do everything with pen and paper, there are a few ways to declutter our digital space and find focus among distractions.
Here are 5 tips and tools to stay away from distractions, boost your productivity, and get more work done, anywhere you are.
1. Limit your tabs
Ever have trouble finding something because you have many tabs open? Or find yourself scrolling bak and forth between tabs deciding what task to accomplish next? We’ve all been there. It might seem counter-intuitive, but limiting the number of tabs can actually force you to focus on the task at hand and complete it, before moving onto the next. This can easily be done by downloading an extension like xTab or Tab Limit, depending on which browser you have. Limiting your the number of open tabs to between 3 and 5 is usually the most helpful in helping you stay organized and focused.
2. Track your hours
The internet and its connectedness take distractions to a whole new level. Whether it’s browsing social media, playing games, or watching YouTube, it has become more challenging to measure our own productivity while working on a computer. But if we could track how we spend our time digitally, and reprioritize those hours, we might just find that extra hour we need to finish a project on time.
The simplest way to do it is automatically. Download an app such as RescueTime, and have it open every time you turn on the computer, it will automatically track your hours spent on a single device, and give you a detailed daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly report. Not only can you see how productive you have been, you can also set productivity goals to see how you compare on different days.
3. Reduce screen time
If you really feel like you need to force yourself to get offline, stay off certain websites that you find distracting, or add a few screen-free minutes to your morning routine, softwares like Freedom can help. This is a software where you can block apps, or just shut down the internet completely, at set times of the day. For instance, I have it set on my laptop to block everything from 11pm to 7am, so that I know I have to finish all work before 11pm and get an undistracted night of sleep. There are many options to personalize and find what works for you.
Alternatively, you can find a browser extension like WasteNoTime, where you block certain sites, or limit the time you’ll be on them during working hours.
4. Undistracted Facebook use
Social media has certainly become a big part of our lives, both personally and for business purposes. It is often impossible to work without any access to social media, since they are important platforms for many businesses.
One way to still use Facebook, without being overwhelmed by everything on your newsfeed, is to use a browser extension like News Feed Eradicator. When you have that installed, you can view, post, and interact with others on Facebook without being sucked into all the cat pictures and funny videos. Unfortunately, this seems to only be available for the web version of Facebook right now.
5. Make use of distraction-free writing tools
Whether your works involves a little writing or a lot of writing, doing it offline and with minimal distractions is the best way. There are many apps out there that serve this purpose, and one such app is WriteRoom. It does nothing more than giving you a blank canvas, without your desktop in sight, and helping you get thoughts onto the screen. It creates that single-tasking environment that does more to improve productivity than doing many things at a time.
These are just some tips that can help you reach the goal of digital productivity. Have any other tricks worked for you? We'd love to hear about them in the comments section.
By: Linan Chen