How to Get Focused at Work When You’re Always Online

Admit it. When you’re at work, you are always itching to access your Facebook account even though Facebook is restricted.

Before I became a freelancer, I was a full-time employee working as a writing consultant. We were allowed to work from home, but when I was in the office I still had the same distraction problems. Although Facebook was blocked, I still had plenty of other sites to access. For one thing, I can access my WordPress dashboard. I also spent a lot of time reading reviews of my dream gadgets.

I think it’s especially hard when you’re an IT personnel in the office, as you have more exploits at your disposal. Recently, my friend was sharing his experience in working with Infor. Infor is an IT company that has a branch here in the Philippines. This reminded me that no matter what industry a person is in, as long as the work involves a computer and internet, there will always be distractions.

Here are a few tips that could help you focus:

Start with the most difficult tasks. Don’t open your Facebook account or access BuzzFeed until you’ve completed at least half of your most difficult tasks. Keep track of the things you’re accessing on your computer. I use to help me track how many hours I spend on each project and even how much I spend time on email. Most likely, you can use SlimTimer in your office desktop. It doesn’t require installation. You just need to login, and the timer will open in a separate window.

Most of the time, there’s a gap between how much time you’re spending at work and how much you think you’re spending. Using timers and other similar apps can help you become objective in assessing your time. You might think you’re only spending 15 minutes Facebooking at work, but in reality, you’re actually spending 50 minutes.
Determine the times when you’re most productive. I know this might not apply to all types of jobs. For example, when you work as a call center agent, you take calls as they come in. But for jobs that have a more flexible schedule, it’s crucial that you identify your in-the-zone moments. During these times, you should be working without any interruption.

Lately, I noticed that I can work and be extremely productive for one hour and thirty minutes. Because of this, I don’t work for three hours straight. I make sure to take a break after one hour and a half.
I hope these strategies help you become more productive at work.

Reward yourself. If you’ve been good and did not access non-work related sites, you can reward yourself by spending time on Facebook or your favorite app. You’ll feel much better knowing that you’ve already accomplished a lot of things before hanging out on Facebook.

Do you have trouble staying focused when you’re online? What are some of the strategies you use to help you stay focused?


Featured Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net/jesadaphorn

Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan