5 Ways to manage your time and digital productivity

Managing your productivity and time, especially if the focus of your work is online, is a constant dilemma, for writers, bloggers, graphic artists and alike. Our biggest enemy is distraction, within a couple of clicks you can end up on the other side of the planet, in someone elses head, far far away from your starting point in a matter of minutes.

One can argue that because it’s all so interesting, because everything might be relevant, (in a Google sort of way) and really you don’t know until you read it and explore it, it’s important to follow those links, well yes that’s true. However, suddenly you realize that hours have been wasted and your no further down the original work path than when you started, you’ve generated no income and the only winner here is your ISP. There are a number of ways of combating this problem. I will outline some of the methods I use;

1. Staying offline as long as possible is one option, don’t set your internet browser to automatically open on login or startup, have your word processing app open first so that you are presented with a blank page, rather than the search bar.

2. Avoid checking your stats and email until you have created some content, even if it’s only a sentence .

3. Set a time limit for checking and responding to email (stick to the time limit, most of your mail has been patiently waiting overnight, besides most of them have been sent by auto-responders (who have no concept of time) so they can probably wait a bit longer.

4. Because your web browser is your frontline interface to the net, it’s important to configure and arrange your bookmarks and favourites, so as to generate a productive workflow,

a. Remove spurious junk from your bookmark menu, bury it deeper than two clicks away, which means you require an additional step to go there, this additional step, requires a conscious decision, it’s a bit like asking for additional confirmation before you delete, you move the action out of involuntary to the voluntary realm.

b. Your bookmark menu should reflect what your trying to achieve online, if your trying to create income, only have your real income streams there, it means when you click the link, you will must take action to work the site to your financial advantage, if you’re a creative, you want to use bookmarks that will inspire you to create, not sit and indulge.

c. Use Google alerts to stimulate your productivity, I find myself being transported to places I don’t need to be, that zap my time and energy, sifting through other peoples notions. Your alerts should contain nouns and verbs so that each alert is a call to action.

d. Choose a theme or trend for the day, (it doesn’t have to be within your niche) use that as a springboard for generating new and interesting content.

e. Instead of bookmarking copy useful info and data into documents you can access offline.

5. Reward yourself with a break of some sort or whatever beverage you might use, I give myself a coffee break reward when I hit 500 words, sometimes I can get mighty thirsty, during periods of writers block but I persist and wait until I have achieved my goal, nowadays I can almost smell the gentle aroma of Lavazza around the 420 word mark, in fact I can smell it now.

These are some of the techniques I use I hope they’re helpful, following these steps will help you be productive and more original with your concepts and output. If you’ve got any additional ideas please post a comment and let us all know, have a great day.

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Digital Media Marketer, Old school New score, what does that mean? Helping your brand get found online! Keynote Speaker. Social Media Consultant and Strategist. Exploring and Sharing ways that Creative Professionals can leverage the Web


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