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6 Steps to Deal With Online Distractions: Avoiding Social Media & Web 2.0 Time-Wasters

Yesterday we reached to following conclusions:

  1. Information overload won’t necessarily create a loss in concentration, learning, or thinking.
  2. Information overload has allowed people to become scholars and experts on their favorite subjects in a quick, interactive, way.
  3. To date, finding relevant information can be a time-consuming challenge–that has its quirky advantages.

Still, I must concede that social media and Web 2.0 sites have the power to distract people, causing them (in cases) to work and focus less. Either, you’re productivity is at risk–or your old procrastinating methods have been retired.

Look up “overwhelmed by social media” on Google and you get 739,000 pages that notice the ailment or offer solutions for it. Bloggers, journalists, and the guy a desk over know it’s a problem.

So how do you focus on your tasks in a world where you can access social media sites on your phone while you attend a productivity meeting?

1. Turn off your internet: Every expert who has chimed in on this subject has said just this. It’s like telling a smoker to toss their smokes. It’s not as easy as it seems. Put aside a morning for writing and inevitably your mouse will gravitate towards your internet browser. The trick here is too work in a internet dead-zone or turn off your airport. Essentially: make it as difficult as possible to log back on…..

2. Use Social Bookmarking & Networking Sites at Set times: Only log on to certain addictive sites at certain times. The same principle applies to doughnuts–if you indulge in them you probably only do it before 11AM. The same rule should apply to addicting sites: indulge, but only at certain times. I typically reserve my time after dinner for social media & time consuming social bookmarking sites.

3. Have Dinner: Have a meal with your colleges, free of phones & computers, and get everyone to throw out ideas. Write them down and work on them throughout the week. Not only will you get new ideas but also your peers will pressure you to see your results so you will be forced to work quickly and with a greater focus.

4. Less Tools–More Content: Leaders, bloggers, and tech-savvy business people are always looking for the latest tool, gadget, and widget that will make their life easier and more organized. However, tracking the development of new gadgets, etc., is time consuming while learning how to use them can be equally as laborious. Instead, focus on your work instead of investing time into time-saving tools. Wait to invest your patience and money in these products only after your trusted friend recommends them to you.

5. Read Different Blogs & News Sites: You don’t want to be in the sad position where the bulk of your monthly information comes from and Facebook. The internet has the power to propel our knowledge but it can also trap us in stale routine. Make a point to follow all kinds of people on Twitter. Make sure you read blogs from around the world. I know this sounds like the opposite of focusing–but it’s helpful to switch up your normal internet walk and make sure you get lost every once and a while. It will inspire new ideas and it may help you get motivated for a new project.

6. Lastly, Exercise Will Power: I know, you don’t want to hear it. I know people are searching for a easy cure, a half-way remedy, that will allow you partial entertainment while you work. Face it: it’s not coming. If you open Youtube by accident, close it. If your friend @replied you on twitter, ignore it. Save it for your free time.



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