Ever run a plugin that measured your weekly Internet use?
I have. It’s not always a pretty sight.
Though there is plenty of hard work logged in those hours, it can be eye-opening to see just how much time gets spent on less important things. For entrepreneurs, those less-important things aren’t just distractions: they can directly cut into the quality and income-generating potential of your business. Fortunately, there are remedies to these ailments, and they can be built right into your browser. Here are the plugins to help you save precious hours—and hopefully, get you home sooner.
Why it Works: Think of StayFocusd as an easy way to unplug from the Internet—except you get to customize exactly what you need to unplug from. StayFocusd operates under the (correct) assumption that your daily interaction with the Internet is not always productive. There’s Facebook, there’s Twitter, there’s email, there’s YouTube—and it’s all trying to bite a solid chunk out of your productivity. StayFocusd isn’t always a nuclear option, though. You can allow specific websites for research, which means you get to pick and choose which corners of the Internet get to stay and help you remain productive. If you want to start your day with a solid block of pure work, there may be no better plugin out there.
Why it Works: Automating email allows you to work on email in batches, eliminating one of the day’s most powerful distractions. When you’re at work, it’s not always the YouTubes of the world that eat away at your time. It’s the perfectly work-friendly stuff. In particular, emails. You can schedule batches of time throughout the day to handle all your emails using Gmelius. You’ll also save time with features like email templates. Unless your job is “email superintendent,” you’ll likely notice an immediate boost in productivity when you automate your emailing process.
Why it Works: There’s an old saying in business—that which gets measured also gets managed. WasteNoTime helps you manage your web surfing time by measuring it and limiting it according to the parameters you set for yourself. That means you can allow yourself some surfing time, if you wish. But you can also set daily time budgets for these specific sites. Once you’ve spent too much time on Facebook, you’ll get a reminder that tells you to get back to work.
Plugin: Shut Up
Why It Works: Ever come across an intriguing post online, only to be discouraged by the poor quality and rank negativity in the comments? Of course you have; this is the Internet, after all. Trolls grow in comment sections like mold. Before you get involved in another Internet debate, why not tune these comments out from the get-go? Shut Up turns off comment sections with a simple click, giving you all the content of the web with none of the cobwebs that grow underneath. It might not help you work, but it will make your surfing a lot more efficient.
Plugin: Website Opener
Why it Works: Even if you don’t think about it, you likely have a morning Internet routine. There are probably a good five pages you visit every single day. Approaching these pages in a haphazard way causes direct interference with the most important part of any productive workday: those first few minutes. Website Opener is great because it lets you open your favorite pages with a single click. You’ll make quick work of the morning’s news, emails, and entertainment if need be—or can even use the plugin to get a head start on the importance sites you need to visit. You know you’re going to open these sites every day anyway—you might as well get it over with.
Plugin: Push To Kindle
Why it Works: You might be plenty productive when you’re on your computer, nestled near your desk with a cup of coffee steaming to the side. But what happens when you’ve got a bit of reading to catch up on, or some homework to do? Push to Kindle does exactly what the title suggests: sending documents to your Kindle for review later. This is perfect for collecting reading material for business trips or simply organizing your life so you can say “I’ll get to this later.”
Plugin: Grammarly Lite
Why it Works: You need to come across as a professional no matter where you might be on the web. Grammarly Lite serves as a basic spellchecker across different platforms and purposes, which in turn gives you a more seamless, professional style. The benefit to Grammarly Lite is that it will fit in seamlessly with your usual Internet experience—you’ll only notice it when you have an error to correct.
Why it Works: It’s almost an everyday occurrence: you come across some actionable information that could change the way you do business. Rather than work on the project at hand, though, you start going down the new rabbit-hole. With these frequent “side-quests” of daily office life, you end up wondering what happened to all the time. Here’s a thought: rather than add another bookmark to your list of 1,000 bookmarks, turn new information into action for later. Use Jot to create a quick “to-do” list that you can tackle at the end of the week.
Why it Works: Momentum creates a “home” page, specially curated by you and you alone. You get decide what happens when you open the browser. That means you get to set the tone for what happens the rest of the day. Want an aggressive, energy-boosting start? Go ahead and add those inspirational photos. Want something relaxing while you wait for the caffeine to take hold? You’re the one who gets to decide your experience. From to-do lists to daily goals, Momentum is a simple reminder that you’re here to work.
Even one or two of these plugins can help save you time. But remember: none of these plugins work unless you make them work. You’re the one who can uninstall, modify, and cheat to your heart’s content. Don’t. Instead, think about one or two plugins that can work wonders on your workweek, and start implementing.