If you are anything like me, you probably hop on the computer and at first you’re totally ready to write, but only after you check facebook. And tumblr. And several other sites that suck your time into the void, never to return.
I won’t lie, I still do this, but I’ve found a few handy tools that help me cut into that time and ensure I stay productive with my writing time. Here they are:
Rescue time can be install via the link above and I also have the Chrome extension on my browser. With the Chrome browser extension, I can check my productivity for the day at the top of my browser. You can also go to their website and sign-in for more detailed information.
My favorite feature? The weekly productivity email I get on Sunday. Each week it shows me how productive I was, what I spent most of my time on and how my productivity compares with the week before. It’s an easy way to see how much time I’ve spent on facebook, or other sites, and how much time I spent in Scrivener writing.
You can categorize your activities however you like, which is great! If you actually use facebook for business on a regular basis, you can change its category to reflect that.
Momentum is one of those awesome little extensions/apps you use so often you forget how helpful it is. Momentum is replaces the new tab page with a dashboard you can personalize. It includes: A place where you can put your focus for the day, a to do list, a place for your favorite links, the weather in your area, a beautiful background image and inspirational quotes.
I don’t use the to do list as much, since I have my bullet journal for that, but the reminder of what my focus is helps me stay on track for the day. The background images tend to be very breath-taking and inspirational for me as a writer. It also helps you remember that you should be working, when you open that tab to check out what’s happening on Twitter.
I’ve written about the Pomodoro Technique before, where you work in 25 minute on/5 minute off productivity units. Strict Workflow extension works with that template, except it works for your browser. When you press the little red tomato at the top of your screen, it blocks distracting sites for 25 minutes, so you can work uninterrupted by your need to see what that friend from high school is doing.
What the 25 minutes is up you’ll hear an alarm go off, and you can then click the now green tomato for a 5 minute break. You can surface facebook, tumblr and any of your other blocked sites for 5 minutes, then the alarm will ring again and you can again click the tomato to start another 25 minute work session.
Be aware, once you install this extension the only way to see the sites you have blocked during that 25 minute work session is to uninstall the app. You can also change which sites you have blocked and what amount of time you want to work/have a break.
Hopefully these help you! Let me know what you’ve used to be more productive! I’m always up for new tools.