Ever wished you could pay someone to stop you wasting time online?
A friend of mine did it.
He hired a woman to sit next to him and SLAP him if he got on Facebook or other distracting websites.
(And she had to slap him HARD.)
A bit extreme? Probably… but I think we can all agree that we're wasting too much time online.
So how to fix this problem? Read on to find out.
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Tip #1 To Stop Wasting Time: Get Rid Of Your Power Cord
Yes – get rid of it. Both for your computer and for your phone.
What am I talking about? Setting up an artificial time limit so that you stop wasting time and you focus on what's important because the clock is ticking.
That sounds too extreme? Okay, just grab a kitchen timer for a couple bucks and try the Pomodoro Technique, where you have to get it done in 25 minutes.
You're gaming the system so you focus on what needs to be done and you avoid distractions.
#2: Go Old School
A lot of your work can still be done with paper and pen. If you've got to share it with people electronically after you're done, simply take a picture and send it out.
#3: Don't Commingle
Have separate work devices and personal devices.
If you've got one phone with both personal and work stuff on it, guess what? You're never going to stop working. And during your work time you're going to keep wasting time on personal things like Facebook.
But if you've got that separation then you realize you don't actually have to have the same apps and all the other stuff on each device. I need to access social media for my business – but I keep it on the work iPad rather than having it on my computer.
#4. Reduce The Hours You Work
I know not everyone can do this, but if you work for yourself, or if you work from home and get to set your own hours, think about how to condense that time.
If you give yourself 14 hours a day to work, you're not going to be 100% productive for 14 hours. Probably more like six.
So why not work only those six hours and get done what needs to get done?
#5. Turn Off Notifications
In fact – turn off your phone.
Yes I know that sounds extreme – but simply turn it off when you don't need it, when you're not expecting your calls.
Believe it or not, most emergencies are not going to happen when you've got your phone turned off.
You could also just put it on silent or airplane mode. There are so many different ways you can stop this thing from buzzing, jumping into your life, and sucking you back into the internet where those timewasters are just waiting for you.
#6. Don't Save Passwords On Your Computer
You should have to manually enter your passwords every time.
I know – it's a hassle, right? That's the point.
If you have to do that you are much less likely to just randomly access that social media site, because the effort of entering your password forms a little bit of a barrier.
That barrier can save you from getting sucked down the rabbit hole and wasting time.
#7. Change Your Environment
Our environment has a huge effect on how we behave and how we feel.
If you're stuck in an office at home with no one around you, you've got no one that's holding you accountable.
Try going to a coffee shop. Sure, none of the patrons are going to slap you for browsing on Facebook. But being somewhere new, surrounded by other people – especially if they're working – you might find you're able to focus.
I used to go to a cafe that had no internet – it simply allowed me to focus in on what I needed to get done.
#8. Schedule Time With Other People
Schedule personal events throughout the day that are with other people. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but here's the deal:
You can only focus a set amount of time. We've all got personal things that we have to do. Do them with other people.
Whether it's going to the gym, having lunch with your family, or meeting up with a mastermind of your peers, as long as these are productive things that you need to do and actually put value on, you're going to feel great about your day.
And because you're meeting other people you're going to be held accountable to those times. That means you're breaking up the day and actually rewarding yourself throughout the day. That's going to be a very productive day – and I find that it helps me live a better life.
#9. Have A Bedtime
This one makes me smile, but I'm serious…
Every man should have a bedtime.
Have a set time to start your evening routine – and make sure electronics are not part of that routine.
I love this part of my day. When my wife goes in and reads to the kid, I get to sneak away and go read my fantasy and science fiction books. I really relish this time when I can just sit there and read.
You want to have something in your routine that you look forward to – and it's so much better than going online and having something force-fed to you or just mindlessly surfing the web. My phones are kept downstairs in the kitchen and I enjoy my evening routine.
#10. Purge Your Phone
Purge your electronic devices of apps that could suck you into a place that you don't want to go.
If the app is sitting there it's just a temptation to fall into it.
Out of sight, out of mind… if you look at your phone and see the Facebook icon you're going to wonder what's going on on Facebook that you're missing. When the app's not there you'll be surprised at how long you can go without it even crossing your mind.
There you go – 10 tips to stop wasting time online that actually work. Want a quick recap?
- Get rid of your power cord or set a timer
- Use paper and pen
- Have separate work and personal devices
- Reduce the hours you work
- Turn off notifications
- Don't save passwords on your computer
- Change your environment
- Schedule time with other people
- Have a tech-free bedtime
- Purge distracting apps
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