“We cannot waste time.
We can only waste ourselves. “
– George Matthew Adams
When you first sit down at your computer and open up your web browser, what do you see?
- Your inbox?
I used to have my email inbox set as my homepage, but through tracking my time with a time log, I discovered that I was wasting too much time at my computer.
What it really came down to was a lack of concentration and focus.
I’ve since become more directed in the time I spend online, here are five strategies you can use to improve your concentration online.
#1 Track Your Productivity
You’ve heard it before: “what gets measured gets managed.”
If you track your productivity at your computer, you might be surprised at what you find.
In an 8 hour day, how much time do you spend ….. on email? Mindless chatting? Browsing websites?
I recommend you use RescueTime’s free time tracking software.
You can then review their reports and see all kinds of interesting things – even what times of day you tend to be less productive.
Which leads me into my next point …
#2 Never “Just Browse” To Start
One pattern I’ve noticed is many people have tendencies – right after school, right after work, or coming home from dinner…where they power on their computers or tablets and just browse.
Don’t do that. Don’t do it just to unwind, or just to see what’s new. Always begin with purpose.
Break the habit – you don’t have to always be productive, but at least be aware and don’t let the time waste away.
#3 Power Down
When I’m trying to focus on a task, I turn off all extraneous devices – my cell phones, tablet, TV. Pick the one electronic device that needs your focus – and use that to complete your task.
I go a step further and lock my computer everytime I get up. I don’t take my breaks at my computer: I separate my work space from my leisure space.
When I return, I don’t turn my monitor back on until I’m mentally refreshed.
If you have to turn your computer back on “just” to mindlessly web browse, you’re much less likely to do it.
#4 Close Your Browser
Similar to the previous item, stop leaving your web browser open when you’re trying to work.
They say the easiest way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it – and that is exactly what most people do.
Remove your temptation by closing the web browser, so that if you do want to browse websites, you have to make the conscious decision to open it.
#5 Take A Break
Research as well as personal experience has shown that taking breaks can improve your effectiveness.
I recommend a break every 20-30 minutes, and definitely no less than once an hour
Just getting up and stretching a couple times an hour can be enough to recenter you and focus. Personally, I like to do simple yoga stretches or take a quick walk.
#6 Bonus: My Start Pages
One secret I’ve learned over the years is the way you begin an activity really sets the tone for your performance throughout the day. So, to be your best – you need to make sure you begin effectively when you first sit down to work. For that, I recommend focusing with a start page.
Why A Start Page?The purpose of a start page is to ensure the time you spend online follows the same priorities you have in the rest of your life. If you need help setting priorities…I cover that in The Action Solution
Here’s the full list of inspirational and motivational start pages. Set one as your homepage and review it at least once a day
- Value Your Time – A reminder to value every moment.
- Be Grateful – We all have so many gifts and wonderful things in our lives, and some days I need to be reminded to be grateful for all I have.
- Beat Procrastination With Action – Act now to accomplish what you want.
- Motivation And Persistence – Persist. You will succeed.
Make The Most Of Your Time
Personal Development Articles
- Inspirational Quotes About Life
- Lincoln Jordan and other “Famous Failures”
- Best Personal Development Books
- The Harvard 3% Written Goal Study
- Covey’s Time Management Matrix
- How to Stop Wasting Time Online
- How To Get Motivated Motivational Tips Techniques
- Speaking in Public Guide to Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety
- Life Rules: Rules For Life