19 Sep How to become super productive online: our top tips
These days, more people than ever depend on the internet for their livelihood. While the sky is the limit when it comes to the possibilities it offers, it is often far easier to forward cute pictures of cats than it is to use the web to change your life.
In this article, we will teach you how to become super productive online so you can use the internet to transform your life rather than just treating it as another source of passive entertainment.
Block access to distracting websites
The internet is a double-edged sword: it has allowed information workers to enhance their productivity like nothing that existed before, but it is also home to a series of endless distractions.
Sites like Facebook or Twitter are only a click or a few keystrokes away. Once you are in their clutches, minutes and hours can disappear before you even realize what happened. If you want to learn how to become super productive online, you need to cut these sites out of your work routine.
In these instances, it helps to have a program like Leechblock in place. A plugin that works in Firefox, it allows you to blacklist time-wasting sites during specific hours of the day, or even during specific time slots each hour.
If you are a Chrome user, StayFocusd offers similar functionality.
Use the Pomodoro technique
As much as we try to convince ourselves that we are going to spend our entire day hammering away at a project, humans can only realistically focus on a task for a short period of time.
Depending on which study you consult, the average person can work vigorously at a job anywhere between 45 minutes to two hours.
After that, work intensity falls dramatically, after which people to head to the water cooler to socialize or spend time on their favorite social network.
Those learning how to become super productive online should adopt the Pomodoro technique, as it uses short alternating periods of intense work and rest to get past this productivity limiter.
The original ratio is 25 minutes of work for every five minutes of rest, with a longer break of 15-30 minutes after every fourth cycle.
You can experiment to see which jives best with you, but the core underlying principle is this: short, intense, and uninterrupted periods of work broken up by shorter breaks taken away from your desk.
Improve your hardware
While possessing good productivity habits will carry you a long way towards your professional goals, having the right gear will serve as a force multiplier.
If your work takes up a ton of screen space, having a second monitor installed can help speed up production.
Work on a laptop? Getting a USB mouse will help you work with greater efficiency, as many common maneuvers are far more tedious when completed with a touchpad.
Make use of the Pareto analysis and Parkinson’s Law
Finally, there is no better way to learn how to become super productive online than knowing which tasks are important and creating a sense of urgency around their completion.
Take everything you do and figure out which tasks produce the majority of your results. Minimize, automate, streamline, or eliminate the unproductive 80%+ of tasks which produce few of your desired outcomes, and double down on the 20% which produce the majority of said outcomes.
Once you have performed a Pareto analysis and made appropriate adjustments, use Parkinson’s Law to speed up these tasks.
Parkinson’s Law stipulates that tasks increase in importance in reverse proportion to the amount of time allotted for its completion.
Set a hard to break commitment as the deadline for a specific work task, and aim to get it done before you have to leave the office to honor the meeting/lunch date/tee time you can’t afford to miss.