It’s easy to trick ourselves that when we’re on our favorite social media site, we’re busy marketing our books. Chatting with your friends is not marketing your book (disable Facebook chat!). If you aren’t being busy on purpose, you’re just wasting time. It’s time to quit.
Authors don’t have time to waste.
You have deadlines to beat. Stories to write. Books to get published. You have more important things to do than to spend time on Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest.
One of the easiest (and cheapest!) ways to solve the productivity problem is to turn off the internet. That’s right. Turn off the wi-fi. Use some good ol’ fashioned self-control. But if you’d like an app for that, I’ve tracked down seven that will help you quit wasting time now.
1. Rescue Time – Free
Shame yourself into cutting down time on social media sites. This app will help you block distractions and take screen shots to give you accurate time tracking logs. At the end of the week, you can print off a complete analysis of how you spent your time. For the visually inclined, the data can be turned into graphs.
2. Freedom – $10
This app will help you block the internet so you can focus on your work without sneaking glances at your email, wikipedia, the news, the stock market, your Twitter feed, or the latest kitty cat video on YouTube…anywhere that isn’t your word processor. Your browser will simply act like it’s offline for the amount of time you selected. To get the internet back, you have to reboot your computer. That will make you think twice!
3. Anti-Social – $15
This Mac-only application will block you from your friends on the internet. If you squander most of your time in chat rooms, social networks, and YouTube, this is the application for you.
4. Easy Task Manager – Free
This app is compatible with the Getting Things Done method. Remember the method to get your inbox to zero? Same people. With this app, you can keep the focus going. Learn how to prioritize, strategize, and get things crossed off your list! For Macs only.
5. Think – Free
Studies have shown that none of us can multitask as much as we think we should be able to. Think makes it easy to focus on the task on hand by blocking everything except the program you select. Genius. For Macs only.
6. Stay Focused – Free
Do you use Chrome? You should know by now that Internet Explorer is bad for authors. What you might not realize is that Chrome can be very productive for authors. Especially with the Stay Focused plugin. Instead of tracking your time on a social media site, it limits your time. Let’s say you want to spend only 60 minutes on Facebook a day. Once enter that goal in, that’s all you’ll be able to spend on there. Say goodbye to wasted time.
7. Focus Booster– Free
The logic behind Focus Booster is simple. Make a list, allocate time to work on those tasks, then give yourself a break. Your tasks will be broken into 30 minute chunks. Focus for 25 minutes and then an alarm will ring, giving you a quick five minute break before you are off to start your next task.
Authors, you don’t have time to throw away. You don’t have the luxury of wasting countless hours on the internet.
How do you stay on task? Is there a specific app that you use? Share your tips in the comment section!