by Bethaney Wallace

Each time I set down to get some work done, I run into the same problem: I get distracted. I might find an interesting blog to read, get lost in the glorious site that is Etsy, or I could be 11 pages deep into my guilty pleasure, The point is, no matter how good my intentions or how motivated I am, something more interesting always comes up. This, of course, is probably a testament to my inability to focus. I was never officially diagnosed with ADD, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be on Ridalin like thousands of other hyper American children (… but that is a rant for another day). I could blame my unpreparedness, my being easily distracted. But in all reality, the internet is just an overwhelming place. Where else can you start looking up shoe sales and end on Shark Week viewing statistics? Never, other than on the internet, have I spent hours jumping between Wikipedia links, learning facts that would only be useful in an intense game of trivia.

Because my job is staring at a computer for hours on end, I have come to terms with my inevitable distraction. I will always be tempted by Yahoo’s daily news and Google Alerts. And when my subscriptions email their words of goodness, I will always click on them. However, I have learned to control (somewhat) my time when surfing the net. Here are some of my hard-learned tricks to help keep your computer time productive.

Focus Booster

This program times your working progress. The free download will provide you with a small timer on your computer, and once it’s done, you can do some much needed internet browsing. The program can be used to each person’s discretion, but I like to work until the clock runs out, and then take a small break. This way I’m getting things done, but I don’t feel trapped from the fun things as well.

Internet Starvation

This trick was actually learned by accident, when my internet was broken. I sat down for an hour or so, internetless, and got more writing done than I had in the past few days combined. Now, if I’m on a tight deadline, I do my research first, write down any important notes, and then head to an internet-free zone. Sometimes this is harder to do than others, but, when desperate, you can always turn off your wifi.

Biding Your Time

My third trick is also the hardest as it requires self control. Each week, I make up a schedule, writing up what needs to get done each day. Then I make time blocks, evening out the heaviest work loads. If, in the morning I wrote two blogs, once they were done I’d do research or catch up on some social media. Not only does this trick make the work day go quicker, it keeps me from getting overwhelmed or brain tired.

So, if you’re anything like me, there’s no foolproof way of staying afloat in the ever-growing internet. However, with even the smallest bit of self control you can go from drowning in a world of links and emails, to one where you actually know how to swim.


Bethaney Wallace is a social media advocate for the mortgage rates website, MortgageSum. She is passionate about blogging and trying not to waste time.

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The Social Robot received compensation for this post.