Where did the time go?
If that is what you are asking yourself at the end of your work day, you are not alone.
You have been working for full 8 hours, then you look at what you have done. It is great stuff but it shouldn’t have taken you more than 5 hours.
What happened with the rest of your time? You haven’t stopped working, you have been just checking your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and also that news site, and taking small snacks, but this takes only seconds, you couldn’t have lost 3 hours? Or could you?
Actually each time you are distracted, you are not only losing the time you spent on the distraction, but you are also losing the time that it takes to adjust yourself to the work you were previously doing.
Moreover, the mental power you spent on those distractions is mental power you cannot spent on actual work. Therefore the more you are distracted the less effective you become at achieving your tasks.
It would be nice, if you can work all day with no distractions and prevent yourself from losing your time. Don’t you think?
What can you do about it?
For sites and services which require login like Facebook and Twitter all you have to do is keep yourself logged out.
It is that simple. The minute you arrive at the login page, that extra step that you have to take will help you realize that you are wasting time and you will be able to return back to your work without losing concentration.
For news and other sites that require no login, a solution can be to use a blocking software so that you are prevented from accessing them during your “office hours”. Browser extensions for all popular browsers exists to help you with that.
To prevent yourself from grabbing quick snacks while you are working, you can employ the same logged out technique but in the real world.
Just keep all doors on the path toward your snack closed. The extra effort of opening them will help you in the same way this helps with Facebook and Twitter.
This way not only you will be spending less time on distraction but you will be in a better physical and mental condition.
Is this enough? It might be but you can improve it even more.
Each time, you realize that you are wasting your time and you prevent the distraction from Facebook, Twitter or grabbing the snack, you should pad yourself mentally as a reward for how good you were at spotting and preventing the problem.
Besides the good feeling that this will give you, it will also help you build a good habit in the place of the old bad habit of distracting yourself.