Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Productivity Helpers

There are so many distractions out there for writer’s today. Take this blog post for instance. Shouldn't you be working instead of blog hopping? Yeah, me too. The internet provides us with great research opportunities, but surely we don’t require it to be running all the time while we work, because the oh so tempting social networks tend to lure us in, allowing us to waste anywhere from minutes to hours of good work time.

I've talked about the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for four twenty five minute increments taking a 5 minute break between each one, and then a 15 minute break after all four are complete. This helps with concentration, but I’ve found the net still causes me to break, at first looking up only research, but then checking up on my Facebook while I am already online.
So how do we stop this?

It’s an internet blocking program. You can use it along side your Pomodoros, setting the timer for 25 minutes of no internet. The only way to counter it is to reboot the entire system, which discourages cheating. After your time is up you can either set aside 25 minutes of research and social time, or you can reset the clock and get back to work. The cost of the program (no, it’s not a freebee) is only 10 bucks and it has a free trial with full features so that you can try it out before you buy it. It’s defiantly worth a try!
If you own a Mac you might give Anti-Social a try. It only turns of the social networking sites, giving you use of the net for research.

Finally, there is Rescue Time that has the ability to track what you do on the internet and shames you into being more productive. It follows everything you work on, all your time on the net, and what you were doing there, then it graphs it out for you to show you where you are loosing the most time. Rescue Time is free, but you do have an option to go pro if you wanted for about 6 bucks.

How do you limit you internet time for productivity's sake?

Ta!
A.McBay

2 comments:

  1. Block internet? *gasp* That's actually really cool. I bet it's very helpful as well! What great tools!

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  2. I love these ideas. I don't find the internet much of a pull after I open up a document. It's making myself open it up, instead of check blogs and stuff like that which is an issue. I love TPR for making me get writing!

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