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How to be More Productive at Work

How to be More Productive at Work

In today’s digital world, we are all bombarded by information and little tasks and notifications all day long – from social media, email, text messages and more. Small business owners often have to struggle to adapt to this nonstop deluge of information and stimuli. It can often be a struggle to avoid distractions – whether it’s news headlines, social media notifications, new podcasts to listen to or new viral videos to watch. In fact, many people have gotten so accustomed to being constantly entertained and distracted by online information and stimuli that they are no longer capable of downshifting their minds and relaxing or just being “bored.”

However, especially for small business owners who need to do creative work or make strategic decisions or otherwise do “big picture” thinking, sometimes it’s important to be bored. Sometimes the most important way to be productive is to find time for idle reflection, contemplation and daydreaming – sometimes you need to let your mind wander so you can come back to your work with renewed focus.

According to this article in Forbes, there are several ways to boost your productivity by embracing boredom:

Schedule Your Internet Usage

Too many people use the internet all day long, and being connected to their smartphone or laptop becomes their “default mode” for the entire workday. As a result, they tend to spend a lot more time online than they would with a more judicious schedule for using the internet. But constantly being able to be entertained or distracted by the internet can prevent people from entering into a state of deep concentration or productive “boredom” that can lead to big productivity breakthroughs and creative idea generation. So instead of getting lulled into the expectation of constantly having internet access, set limits on your internet usage. Set aside blocks of time during the day where you’re “allowed” to use the internet.

Use Internet-Blocking Apps

Another way to limit your internet usage is to use distraction-blocking apps like SelfControl (for Mac) or Anti-Social or Freedom that block your computer from being able to access certain websites or even the entire internet. Many people find that it’s very difficult to keep from going online or accessing social media – even when they have other urgent things to do. So it can be worth getting help from an outside source to keep your mind from escaping down the path of digital distractions.

Declutter Your Social Media

Another recommended tip for avoiding distractions and increasing the level of “healthy boredom” in your life is to weed out the number of social media platforms and accounts that you use. The Forbes article proposes this test: Try not using any social media accounts for 30 days, and then at the end of that 30-day period, ask yourself:

  1. Would the past 30 days have been better if you had been able to use social media?
  2. During the past 30 days, did people care if you weren’t using social media?

If the answer to both questions is “no,” then this is a sign that you can quit the social media platform without losing anything important in your life.


Kabbage Team

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