An Easy Way to Stay Focused

squirrelSquirrel!! Read on if distractions have ever taken over your day.

You sit down at your desk in the morning and have every intention of working on most important task on your to do list.  But before you get started you decide to make a quick check into email or maybe your social media feed, a news website or your favorite blog.  Something you see while doing this rooting around inspires you to check out a related news site or perhaps something on YouTube.  And you’re off. Off to the land of “Where the hell did the morning, go?”

The subjects you “research” may be related to work on some level, but they aren’t high on the list.  In fact, until this particular dose of distraction slapped you upside the brain, you probably didn’t even know these fascinating bits of information existed.

Don’t feel like a slug if it happens to you because it happens to all but the most disciplined people. For me, rather than a subconscious way of being, discipline must be actively pursued, so this cyber wandering can get me if I’m not vigilant.

A Tech Solution to Stay Focused

But not right now. For the next hour (a little less by now) there’s not much I can do but write this post. That’s because I downloaded and enabled the StayFocusd extension on Google Chrome. Now I stay focused because I can’t access any of those tempting websites. If I try, I get a message that says “Shouldn’t you be working?”

StayFocusd took just seconds to install, didn’t cost a penny – although I’ll make a donation – and in mere minutes I was able to customize the blocking so I have this uninterrupted hour to write.

The downside to not having someone breathing down your neck about your results is that no one is breathing down your neck about your results – which while not pleasant can be a pretty good motivator. Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, you’re responsible for how you manage your time, prioritize your tasks and get things done.  Willpower can help, but willpower is also a limited resource.  Once you use it up for the day, it’s gone until tomorrow.

An extension like StayFocusd is an invisible helper to prevent distractions – at least from technology. Of course, you can always pick up your iPad or smartphone to dodge the system, but that kind of self-sabotage probably calls for therapy. (I jest. Sort of.) Plus, then you can save your willpower for avoiding the doughnuts.