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Monday
May302011

Productivity & the Internet: Update On My Revamped Work Day Progress

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Ok, I gave up on the idea of staying offline in the mornings.

Reason: Because of my Market Watch column for Writersmarket.com, I need to surf the Web for publishing industry info each morning. I tried to make notes of stuff that would be good tweet and blog post material later in the day, but found that the info always seemed stale later on, plus distracted me from whatever else I was working on.

For me, it makes sense to do the info sharing while I'm online doing the research; I'm just being more careful about how long I spend doing this. Right now, I'm keeping a detailed time log about how I spend my time each day. I don't plan to do this indefinitely, but it's certainly helping me see where and how I spend my time.

Screen shot 2011 05 30 at 10 27 08 AM

My new plan: To stay completely offline from noon until 3 pm. Thanks to those of you who suggested Freedom, a Mac productivity app that cuts you off from the Internet for scheduled amount of time. The only way to re-enable Internet access is to force-quit the app or reboot. How are the rest of you doing with your productivity goals?

 

Reader Comments (8)

It's definitely hard to stay offline when I'm writing; it'd be easier if I was just using a word processor or a typewriter because then I wouldn't be tempted by the easy access to the Internet. I used to listen to music on Youtube while I was writing. But then I found I was wasting a lot more time on Youtube by getting distracted by videos of bloopers on the Office and clips of Conan o' Brien's show.

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNeurotic Workaholic

Reducing online time has been very helpful. I recently got off my mobile data plan and no longer have a smartphone. It freed me up mentally; feels empty and vulnerable sometimes but I still have text so it's possible to Tweet or update a blog via text if necessary. Makes life more interesting.

May 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHmm

I get so frustrated with myself for getting sucked into the Internet during my limited free time to write. See I should be writing instead of blogging :) But if I hadn't decided to read my favorite blogs, then I wouldn't have learned about FREEDOM!! So thank you!

June 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I'm right there with you on this. I write best in the mornings, but I often get caught up in online stuff. I've slotted an hour in the mornings as I drink my tea and wake up, then it's time to hit the keyboard. No more internet until the end of the day. I'd LOVE to turn off my internet, but I also have a day job so that won't work for me. But I do work on my laptop on the days I need to focus. If I see an email I can't help but read and answer it.

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice Hardy

My writing work requires internet research so I have to stay online while writing. It’s true that the internet can give so many distractions, and sometimes we get carried away with all that’s fun and hot online. But it’s always a matter of self-discipline for me. I check my mails and all other notifications before getting started with work. When I’m done viewing and replying, I stay signed in to my mail but I set a specific break time to reply to new messages. I sign in to chat applications but if my work doesn’t require me to be online, I just stay invisible. In this way, I can stay away from unnecessary conversations. At the end of the day, I feel a great deal of accomplishment knowing that I am able to obey my own rules =).

June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShyxter

Oh, I have the free trial of Freedom on my laptop and I did use it a few times....my problem is that, like Shyxter, it seems like as soon as I do and I start writing, I want to look up something related to what I'm writing...like, "what does stop-bath smell like?" or scout around for a good name for a nursing home that's in the book.

Or maybe this is just me trying to justify my need to check email and facebook every ten minutes...

sigh

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Such a good post! I get sucked into the internet all the time and I'm so glad that people are talking about it. I think it's especially hard for writers, who love to read as well as write. There's so much to read on the internet, and it's easy to get sucked in.

June 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwritingsanstrees

lovely, well researched article. I appreciate the fact that smashing has these kinds of things posted every once in a while. I believe it helps remind the current community where we come from, and why we do the things we do.

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