Post written by Marlon Ribunal.
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With all the cool social networking tools that are available to us today, our need to be connected are easily satisfied by a simple click on the mouse. We are in an era where collaboration and communication are the main elements that drive the society. But as the gift of social networking  brought us many benefits, the necessary evil that comes with it rears its ugly head: Distractions – lots of them.

[ Recommended Book: “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long” ]

Those working in the office and the cubicle dwellers are most prone to the temptations of online distractions. Well, any activities that hamper one’s productivity are distractions.

Confront The Distraction Head On

When you confront the distraction head on, that doesn’t mean turning off the internet connection. Many companies now have some systems that depend on the internet connection. Confronting the distraction means following a strict discipline on internet usage. It’s always nice to keep your habits in check.

Schedule Your Online Activities

Schedule your work that needs internet connectivity during your peak hours. Peak hours vary depending on your working habits or patterns. If you are most like people, your peak hours could be from 9 AM – 11 AM and 1 PM – 3 PM. The reason why you need to schedule your online work around these times is that you cannot easily be swayed by the temptation of useless web surfing.

Set A Quota For Websites You Visit

Limit your online reading or viewing to a certain number of articles or videos and stick to that number. For example if you are browsing through the news, set a number of news, say five news items, that you will read and don’t go beyond that. The way this is done is you open those 5 news articles or videos into their own individual tabs or windows. Once you finish reading all of them, just close the browser. The next tip is related to this.

Don’t Click On Related Links

“Once you pop, you can’t stop”, says Pringles. And that is true with web surfing. If you give in to the temptation of clicking a link that brings you to another interesting page, chances are you will click another link from that page, and again and again and again.

Go For A Walk During Break Times

This is very much important. Go walk with a buddy and talk about meaningful stories. Unload boredom in a meaningful way. I don’t have statistics on this but I think one of the many reasons why workers resort to web surfing as an outlet of boredom is that they don’t have any other way to unload it. They look for some means to fight boredom through online entertainment. Be entertained by the natural environment in your office surroundings.

Read Personal E-mails At Home

This is one of the most common traps. Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other similar free web emails have their portals that serve news and entertainment sources. A single well-written headline is all that it takes to lure us into web surfing. Headlines are “designed” to catch our attention; and, we can easily fall to that trap. This is the reason why I use Gmail for my personal email needs.

Turn Off Your Internet Connection

Unless you need internet connectivity, you can turn off your connection until you finish your tasks. There is a software called “Freedom” that will allow you to turn off your internet connection for certain amount of time. If you think that will help, then you might try it and see if it works.

[ Recommended Book: “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long” ]

Weigh In The Benefits Of Social Networking

Are you receiving benefits from all your social networks connections and updates? Are they adding values to your overall goals in life? Maybe it’s time to go for a social network diet. You have the choice of deleting your accounts or limit your update frequency. Maybe a twice-a-week update won’t be enough reason for your friends to “unfollow” or “unfriend” you.

Photo Courtesy of xkcd

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