If your work involves spending any significant amount of time online, you’re always going to be vulnerable to distraction.
Ooh pictures of baby hedgehogs…
Every tab you keep open in your browser represents an opportunity to wander down the garden path. That’s fantastic if you need creative inspiration or you’re spending some downtime. It’s destructive if you’re working against a deadline or trying to “move the big rocks.”
Hey, a new recipe for enchiladas…
Today, I wanted to share my single most effective productivity secret weapon. (Full disclosure: my amazing husband kept telling me about this and I only recently downloaded and fell in love with it.)
It’s called Pocket and if you use it effectively, it can really keep you focused and organized.
Once you sign up for an account, you have a space where you can save articles or web pages of interest. There’s a browser-based interface and an app for your phone, so you can save things from anywhere.
The superpower comes in when you use the browser extension button (it’s available for Chrome, Safari, Opera, and MS Edge). With the extension, you get a tiny magic button in your browser bar. Any time you find yourself on a distracting website, just click the magic button and it’s saved for later.
Yes, you can save fun things like hedgehog pictures and recipes, but you can also use tagging to organize and separate the leisure items in the list from the business-related content. I’ve got tags set up for “research” and “marketing planning” as well as “recipes.”
Sometimes magic happens when the random content you’ve been reading collides with a real-world business requirement. Remember the scene in Working Girl where Melanie Griffith pulls out her “idea” folder and shows Mr. Trask how she put together Trask and radio?
Pocket is my “idea” folder and my distraction terminator. Did I mention that it’s free for most functions? There is also a premium option that adds advanced search, permanent saving of pages (protects against website changes), and other goodies.
I wasn’t asked to promote Pocket, and I’m not an official “ambassador,” but it’s made such a big difference to me that I had to share it!
How do you defend against distraction?
Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for Social Strata — makers of the Hoop.la community platform. Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee
Featured image via Flickr CC: Chief Trent