Do you suffer from Twitteritis? Is your morning (+evening and night) incomplete without checking how many likes the photo you uploaded got? Do you hop onto social media websites every few minutes?
If the answer to all the questions above is ‘Yes’, don’t worry you are not the only one. According to online surveys, time spend on Social networking now accounts for 19% of the time spent online. But if networking is hampering your work or you keep wondering where you are losing all that time, there are now some effective software in the market that will help you in becoming more efficient and curb your insatiable networking needs.
- Social Media Managers
If you are spending a lot of time maintaining separate accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn et al, integrate them via a Social Media Manager. Get all the notifications and updates in one place so that you don’t have to go around hopping from one to the other. The best ones out there are HootSuite and TweetDeck. Some programs also allow multiple account management so your work and personal accounts can be operated simultaneously from one location.
Most of these programs are free, though paid versions offering greater features are also available. They are available in both web-based and mobile app versions. The only downside is that you will have to learn to operate another user interface.
- Time Out
If your Angry Birds addiction is driving you crazy or if you can’t unglue your eyes from YouTube, install a program that blocks access to pre-selected sites. Google Chrome users can install StayFocusd extension that restricts access to specific websites, sub-domains or even particular pages on a site. A similar program for Firefox is Leechblock. Once the time allotted for these sites per day is up, they are inaccessible for the remaining part of the day. Once you visit a site that is on your StayFocusd list, a timer starts working, counting the allotted time you have remaining before you are blocked for good. You can even adjust the app to allow you to have fun on weekends and work through the week.
If you need only a anti-distraction time slot because you will power does a pretty good job otherwise, there is the Nuclear Option in StayFocusd which blocks all sites except the one you want to focus on for that particular time period. While in StayFocusd you can’t make any changes in the settings for the current day, Leechblock provides a password protection to delay you from making any changes.
A program called Antisocial is available for Mac users for $15. It locks one out of social networks for a specific period of time. You can’t turn it off in a moment of weakness so you can’t cheat. Another one called Freedom is available at $10. It turns off the noise completely, taking the harder route of locking you away from Internet itself.
There you go, no crying over spilt hours now.
- Track Time
Time trackers monitor how much time you are spending on each activity every day. What better way to boost your will power than someone telling you how many seconds, minutes and hours are being wasted in rechecking that status update over and over again. In some cases the tracker even reminds you that you are just overdoing the twittering. SlimTimer is an online time sheet where you can click at the beginning of every activity and come back and click again when you end. It then provides a detailed report of how you are using your time. Another program called RescueTime once installed on the computer runs in the background to keep track of the websites being visited and the time devoted to each.
So maybe it is time to give a break to you willpower and hire external help? Instead of directing your willpower to keep you off web distractions you can direct it to more positive sources thanks to these programs! Anyhow, well worth a try if you want to maximize on the time you spend online.