Increase Your Productivity by Controlling Internet Use
Based on a study conducted by the IDC (International Data Corp), at least 30 percent of Internet use in the workplace is not related to the business or the job. Worse, more than 50 percent of online purchases happened during working time. This means that the company is paying you for the hours that you are actually not doing your job! (And you sometimes complain you’re paid unfairly.)
There’s no doubt that the Internet is extremely useful. You can consider it as your portable and easy-to-access library. However, it is also very addictive. Unless you know how to control your use, you would not learn how to be productive.
Here are some ways on how you can do that:
1. Be mindful of the office policies. A lot of companies have already recognized these problems and have developed steps to greatly reduce the wrongful use of the Internet. The rules would often include penalties for not following them. The mere idea that you would potentially lose your livelihood because of uncontrolled web browsing should be enough to scare you and prevent you from going against company regulations.
2. Set up the necessary controls. There are already plenty applications and plug-ins you can use to limit the number and types of websites you can access. If you’re working in a company, most probably you can longer enter pornographic websites and proxy servers. If you’re in a home office setting, you can download filters or even use parental control options. You can enter links of websites that you want to blacklist.
3. Create passwords. Some filters allow you to create passwords. By doing so, you prevent yourself from removing the blacklisted websites or modifying the control settings. However, it’s not really a good idea to create the passwords all by yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll still be tempted to access them. What’s ideal is to have someone produce the password for you. It may be a colleague, your spouse, or even an IT administrator. Make sure that he or she doesn’t reveal anything about it to you.
4. Limit e-mail checking. One of the foremost reasons why you spend a lot of time online is your e-mail. You spend an average of 30 minutes reading all your e-mails, and usually while waiting for them to download, you’d browse other websites. Before you know it, you’ve wasted an hour. Determine the best times to check your e-mails. Usually, it’s during the first hour of the morning and later in the afternoon. It’s also a good idea to check your e-mail during lunchtime. It also helps if you turn off e-mail notifications. For e-mails from very important people, you can filter their messages so they end up in your priority inbox.
5. Focus. Think about the tasks at hand, then ask yourself the question, “What would happen if I don’t get to complete this on time?” That would hopefully bring your mind to focus on the things that are more important. Subliminal messages can also help. Some affirmations such as “I can increase my productivity by cutting back on Internet use” or “I am a better employee with less Internet time” can motivate you to concentrate on priority tasks.