The Internet and technology is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand has created great opportunities for anyone to start a business, develop different projects and make a living from the comfort of your home with your laptop.
But the other side of the coin shows us a diminishing attention rate, distractions, addictions and dysfunctionalities of many types. In addition to possible side effects we do not know how far they can go as everything grows even more.
Working on the Internet is a challenge today. In addition to the need for great discipline and willpower, it is necessary to know what to do and to combat different obstacles that prevent us from achieving good results and achieving the established goals.
If you are looking to be more productive and achieve more in less time, good news: you are about to learn techniques, principles and tips to move to the next level in all your projects and what you do on the Internet.
In this online productivity guide I am going to share with you some tips and strategies that have worked for me a lot in the last months and weeks. Putting them into practice I have been able to greatly increase my productivity, be more disciplined and greatly improve the way I work day by day.
I do not consider myself the most productive person or an expert on the subject, however, based on my personal experience I can contribute this content that I am sure will help you a lot.
Obstacles that prevent us from being productive
Let’s see first what are the main obstacles that prevent us from having online productivity. I’m sure you’ll identify with (almost) everyone. The best comes in the next section where we will see what to do to increase our effectiveness and do more in less time.
1. Distractions and interruptions
The number one enemy of online productivity is the distractions and interruptions that arise at all times.
In many occasions it has happened to me that I am ready to do something important and productive on the Internet. I open my browser to start and 40 minutes later I have only surf the Internet, see Twitter and review Facebook photos.
Has it happened to you too? I’m sure you do.
If it is not something on our computer, you can be a call, a message on the mobile phone, a person entering our workplace asking for attention or any other type of distraction and / or interruption.
What we can do in 1 hour can be extended to 2, 3 or more hours if we neglect and do something to avoid being distracted.
It is very important to try to be proactive, take initiative and have control of all our activities to try to focus 100% on the task.
2. Try to do everything at once
With so many things to do, it is very easy to think that we can do “multi-tasking” or many tasks at the same time and in this way be productive. But the reality is very different.
When you do a lot of things at once you lose focus, you are “jumping” from one thing to another and the effectiveness and percentage of completed tasks drops drastically.
What is the best? Focus 100% of our attention on a single task for a certain time. Let’s see more of this right away
3. Lack of clarity
Has it happened that you are ready to work, but you do not know exactly what you have to do and what is the next step to take? Me too.
The lack of clarity is one of the great obstacles to online productivity that we face day by day. There are so many things we can do that we do not know where to start or where to focus first.
4. Lack of discipline and commitment
We all want to achieve many things, make more money, grow and other similar goals. However, how much do you want it?
Many people want to improve but at the same time they are in their comfort zone, a comfortable and very dangerous place that causes a certain conformism for not wanting to advance or to achieve important challenges.
I have realized that in order to really progress and achieve the goals we set ourselves, it is necessary first to acquire a commitment to oneself and EVERY DAY to act with discipline.
Personal discipline is like a muscle that we are training. Like when we go to the gym. The more we exercise it and put it into practice, the bigger it becomes.
Tips to overcome the obstacles of productivity
Now that we’ve seen 4 online productivity hurdles, let’s see what we can do to beat them and be more effective on the Internet. This is where valuable information comes in, so take notes
Each of these tips helps to avoid one or more of the obstacles we saw in the previous section. If you put into practice all, much better.
Before sitting on the computer doing things, the first thing to ask ourselves is:
What do I want to achieve? O What is my top priority today?
Setting goals is very important to have clarity, know what to do and not distract yourself so much.
What you want to achieve in your day will depend a lot on the most important projects or priorities that you are working on. If you have larger goals to meet here in 3, 6 or 12 months, then your goals for the day will be focused on progressing to be able to accomplish that you are looking for in the long term.
It all depends on your personal situation. Even if you have traditional work in a company (either part-time or full-time), ask yourself what you need to accomplish at the end of your day.
Plan your day
Once you have established goals and you know what you have to do, plan each and every one of the activities you need to do to make your day a success. For this you have different options:
- Use a simple pen and paper and write down the entire list of tasks and activities
- Use an online document such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs
- Some Android or iOS app
- Any other method of your choice
- The most important thing is to know what you have to do, write it down and sort it out by priorities.
Often there are urgent things that need to be finished but that are not the most important thing or what the best results will give us. Identify those urgent tasks and assign them a special time so that you can then focus on what matters most.
One thing at a time
As we have seen, writing a post for your blog, replying emails and eating at the same time does not work. Our brain is much more effective when we focus on one activity or task at a time, with 100% attention and concentration.
Do an experiment and you will see the excellent results. It is very easy to think that we can multitasking and be productive until we really see everything that can be achieved by doing one thing at a time.
To get more focus, avoid multitasking and eliminate distractions altogether, I invite you to try out the Pomodoro technique, which has helped me a lot in the last months and I recommend it to everyone I know working on the Internet or using a computer in their daily routine.
To use it, complete the following steps:
- Choose a task or activity that you want to complete
- Put a countdown clock for 25 minutes
- Do this activity (and only that activity) during the 25 minutes
- At the end of the clock, rest 5 minutes and do another 25 minutes
- Every 3 blocks of 25 minutes you can take a longer break of 15 minutes
- If you did not finish what you had to do in the 25 minutes, still take the break and continue in the next block.
During each 25-minute “pomodoro”, the goal is NOT to distract and focus on a single task or activity. This means closing Facebook, Twitter, email, putting the phone in silence and everything necessary to not distract or be interrupted.
In the 5 minute breaks you can check your social networks, mobile phone or email
This technique is becoming very popular and since I discovered and implemented it I have had excellent results in my personal productivity.
To make a better measurement of your blocks, download this PDF that I use where you put the time, the task and a “check” when you have finished: Pomodoro Technical Monitoring Sheet.
Plan your distractions
It sounds a little out of the way or weird, but planning your distractions is an excellent strategy. Using the Pomodoro technique you can plan to check your email, Facebook, make calls, Whatsapp or check how much Barcelona is in the Champions League in the 5 minutes between each block.
Even when you already have 4 or 5 blocks of 25 minutes finished, you can dedicate the following to rest and to review all your social networks, pages of entertainment and messages.
Once you get back to work you will not be (as) tempted to check out these sites.
Rest, food and health.
We are human, not machines. That is why we also need moments of relaxation and rest to be able to recharge energy and return with more motivation and desire than before.
Try to also have moments of rest, sleep at least 7 hours every day and give priority to your well-being.
Food also has a lot of influence on mood and how we feel in the day. Eat nutritious foods, avoid “junk” food, sugar and processed foods that do not bring anything positive.
To be able to concentrate, have energy and be motivated is necessary to eat well. I recommend the Paleo diet, a way of eating that helps to stay fit, lose weight and give quality nutrients to the body.
If in addition to this you exercise at least 5 days a week, your productivity will increase drastically
How I started and finished a videocurso of 50 videos in 10 days
In this section I am going to give you a strategy that allowed me to start and finish from zero a course of 50 videos about WordPress in 10 exact days. I know it may not sound as dramatic as saying that I wrote a book in 2 days or something, but I can assure you it works very well.
To ensure 100% that we are going to meet and finish with some important project or goal, it is much better to establish the conditions in our environment so that everything can be completed with time and success.
That is, to condition oneself by means of some external factor.
I give you the example of my case.
To make sure I was going to finish recording the 50 videos of the course, I came to an agreement with my best friend: If I did not finish by the established date (August 31), I had to pay $ 300 USD.
In this way I have a consequence and a motivation to finish that impelled me to fulfill this challenge with success.
It’s like school. When we do not do the homework we know that we will have a low grade and a punishment by the teacher.
When we work on our own on the Internet, it is easy not to do things because we know there are no consequences and nothing will happen if we fail.
With this strategy we “force” to finish yes or yes. It can be another type of challenge. Whatever you want.
In addition to having the motivation to finish my course, I knew that I could not afford to pay my friend that $ 300 dollars and lose the challenge, so the motivation and determination to finish were full. The result was successful and I was able to record all the videos in 10 exact days
I will tell you about this course later.
Combine this strategy with those I shared in the previous section and you will become unstoppable.