“I will just send this one last email. What’s that on BBC news?. Oh that’s a great picture on Facebook. Where have they been? I will just take a quick look.” Do any of these sound familiar? I know they do to me. The shear volume of distractions these days are a procrastinator’s nightmare. One minute you are ready and focused on your work the next you find yourself scrolling through the news. That you have already read. Three times! The internet is as distracting as it is helpful. Fear not though we are here to help. If you suffer from procrastination here are some neat web tools and browser plugins to help you stay on your game.
This is a neat little Chrome add on that streamlines your workflow into twenty five minute blocks with five minute breaks in between. Using the pomodoro technique, it uses a neat little tomato timer to keep you on track. During your work time it blocks any sites you decide are too distracting and opens them up during your five minute break. You can amend the times to your own specified lengths, however the makers do recommend keeping it at the default times as they are set there to adhere to the pomodoro technique.
This is another cool little Google Chrome add on with a twist. Instead of you blocking websites for a certain amount of time this lets you look at any site you want. The catch is that it gives you a limited amount of time on there. It lets you have a look around, get what you want and get out. If you go over that time the owl swoops in a closes that tab for you. You can set important work related sites to have a free pass so they don’t go shutting down on you in the middle of your work. You can also schedule in your breaks in the “Freetime Scheduler”. This extension is a great little twist on the blocking style add on that helps you slowly decrease your time on time wasting websites. Creating more positive habits when you are working.
This tool is all about making your scheduling work as efficiently as possible. This is a feature rich add on that will make planning your time a breeze. You can seamlessly add events from Facebook or email with one click, save web pages to your calendar, it even gives you desktop notifications when your browser is shut, has sound and voice notifications and supports multiple calendars and Google apps. It may not seem like a lot of time is taken up by putting things in your calendar but over time those extra minutes can build up and also distract you. Here is a solution that makes it as quick and easy as possible to stay on track.
Here is another productivity extension for your Chrome browser. It works slightly different to those earlier in the list. Instead of blocking the sites and opening them up when you are free or giving you small snippets of time on them, Stay Focused gives you an allotted amount of time. Once you have set up those sites that tend to distract you from more productive tasks it will set an amount of time you can access it during a day. Once you have reached these limits they are then blocked for the rest of the day. One of its great features is that it is highly configurable. You can block whole sites, single pages, specific content or sub domains. You name it and you can probably block it. A great way to put real limits on your procrastinating.
This final tool is great way to keep a check on what you are actually spending time on. Download the software and it will run in the background measuring where your time is being spent. You can set the types of activity you want measuring to help the software categorise productive tasks compared to not so productive activities. This is an excellent tool to help you understand where your time goes and make changes to make more of the time you have got.
Procrastination is such a common problem and the internet doesn’t really help anyone stop it. However, with these tools you can make small changes that will help you develop healthier working habits to ensure your time isn’t taken up by less productive activities. Whether that is a complete block on sites that take up your time or positive nudges in the right direction. There is a tool here for you to make those changes and help your productivity improve. We would love to hear if you have any more unconventional methods you use to stop yourself from procrastinating?