Limit On-screen Distractions to Increase Productivity

productivity-guide-cover

Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

There are plenty of days when lawyering keeps me so busy that I do not have time to get distracted. On those days, I tend to feel that focusing actually makes me happier.

Other days, however, social media and other web-based distractions put a dent in my productivity.

If you find yourself constantly switching between browser tabs, there is solution.

Use what you need

We use Google Apps, so I always have two tabs open for Gmail and my Google Calendar. We also use Clio as our practice management software, which adds another tab to my browser. In some ways, having three open tabs helps keep me on task. Whenever I have more than three tabs open, I am easily distracted and find myself clicking from tab to tab.

Think about it, if Facebook is always a tab, it is that much easier to see what your friend from twenty years ago ate for lunch today. Limit yourself to only leaving open sites or pages that you need for work. If you do not believe me, try it for a few days and see what happens.

Install an extension that limits your tabs

If you use Google Chrome, you can install an extension that allows you to limit the number of open tabs in your browser. The extension is easy to use and the only thing you can change is how many open tabs you are allowed.

When you try and exceed your maximum, a dialog box pops up and tells you “you have decided not to open X number of tabs.” Of course, you can easily get around the extension by increasing the number of open tabs allowed.

I have a feeling, however, that using the extension will help individuals with browser overload. Eventually you will get to the point where you do not need an extension to help supervise your web use. Give it a shot and see if you find newfound happiness in staying on task.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pretz/111612028)

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