The digital clock on the microwave glares at you from across the kitchen. One hour left, it nags. You sigh, staring at the blank screen in front of you. Your motivation dries up like a piece of bread left out too long.
Perhaps something online will get your creative juices flowing again to finish up that assignment. You look at your Aunt’s vacation pictures on Facebook, which reminds you—you need to book that flight to visit your parents this summer. But you can’t buy the first fare you see, that would be crazy. So you surf a few sites to find the best deal, and soon you’re on the website of a fancy resort hotel in the Bahamas trying to decide if an all-inclusive vacation counts as a good reason to dip into your savings account. Just as you’re logging into mobile banking, you glance at the clock and realize there are only five minutes left before the deadline.
And that page is as clean and white as when you started.
We’ve All Been There
The Internet is a fantastic tool for connecting, sharing, and frankly, just about anything else you can think of. Unfortunately, it can also be a tremendous distraction if you aren’t disciplined. According to Salary.com in a 2014 survey, about 89% of workers admitted to wasting time online while on the clock; 24% of the respondents named Google as the most distracting of online attractions.
Those assignments for school or work aren’t going to submit themselves, so how do you get back to work with the click-bait of the Internet beckoning?
Create a Setting for Success
Staying on task while working online is possible, but requires a certain setting (which you can set).
A great way to keep your focus is to work when you’re most awake and alert. Some of us hit the afternoon slump, and our brains shut down. Others walk around on autopilot until 10:30 AM at the earliest. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, take advantage of it.
If you need a little outside intervention to work efficiently, try downloading one of the many apps out there that track how you use your time. You can find these for your computer or your mobile devices. When you know there’s a score waiting for you at the end of the day, you’ll use your time more consciously.
There are also services such as Guardian, which can be used to limit internet usage by blocking internet access at certain times. So if you don’t need the internet while you work, schedule it to be blocked during the time you need to work. If you need it while you work, set it to be blocked at the time of your deadline so that you know you have no other option than to get it done within that timeframe. This helps ensure that you’re focusing on the right things at the right time.
You don’t have to be controlled by the temptations of the internet or your own distracted nature. Take control today by contacting us for information on our Guardian service!