Procrastination? Get things done with momentum!


social_media_distractionHas it ever happened to you, that you when you opened up your browser on your laptop, you instantly lost focus of what you wanted to do and ended up wandering around cyberspace of internet? I am sure you are familiar with a such situation. Especially, when you have to write an assignment, you open up the browser to do some research, but soon after you happen to be reading or watching content about topic that has nothing to do with the assignment.

Deadlines for the assignments are coming up, so I decided to tap into this field, and potentially help someone to become more efficient.

At first, I would like to explain the background of the problem. When we search for anything online we have to navigate through some relevant but mostly not relevant information (Stibel 2009). Most of the websites are designed in a way to provide us a number of different links with intriguing titles intermingled in the webpage (Warner 2013). We tend to click on the links because our brain craves variety (Warner 2013). There, also, seems to be a neurological basis for our actions or, in other words, attention dopiness. In the book, Find Your Focus Zone by Lucy Jo Palladino, it is explained that our dopamine levels raise when we watch TV, play video games, or ,in this case, discover new thing on the internet. When dopamine level is high we are inclined to keep the it high, and thus, search for other distractions (Palladino 2007). In this way, we tend to browse through different pages, explore new information and loose the sense of time. I think you get the idea behind the how our mind, in this case, works.

The question arises, how do we keep the focus, and motivation to get thing done?

I would like to share a little innovative tool that potentially helps to tackle the problem. It is called Momentum.

Momentum is an extension for the Google Chrome browser, which gives you a distraction free homepage. It appears every time you open a new tab or window, that way it shows what is your main focus. The homepage enforces three main elements,

  • Focus, by providing you the option to input your main goal of the day
  • Motivation, by showing new inspirational quotes and pictures everyday
  • Track of things to do, by allowing you to keep the to do list

Hereunder, I share my momentum homepage from the afternoon today, to give you an indication.Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 15.27.53

I suggest, you give it a shot a see for yourself, whether your productivity improves. Furthermore, let me know bellow if the tool helped you to avoid procrastination on the web and get more things done!

Sources:

Palladino, Lucy Jo. Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload. 1st edition . London: Free Press, 2007.

Stibel, Jeff. Why the Internet Is So Distracting (And What You Can Do About It). 20 October 2009. https://hbr.org/2009/10/why-the-internet-is-so-distrac (accessed October 8, 2015).

Warner, Russ. THE INTERNET AND ITS INCREDIBLE POWER TO DISTRACT. 23 March 2013. http://ikeepsafe.org/balancing-screen-time/the-internet-and-its-incredible-power-to-distract/ (accessed October 8, 2015).

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3 responses to “Procrastination? Get things done with momentum!”

  1. 343244jp says :

    Thanks for the post. I am always looking for (new) ways to be more productive, interesting to read some of the science behind it. I am definitely going to try Momentum, sounds like a great tool, but I am currently testing a similar Chrome Extension called Tabtics (you can join the private beta through http://tabtics.com/). This extension gives you tips on how to be more productive, but also on how to stay/ be more healthy. The cool thing about this extension is that it is actually displaying info from your wearable (if you have one).
    Based on your description of Momentum, it looks like Momentum is a better app if you get easily distracted and want to keep focused, while Tabtics is more suitable if you want to want to be more productive (and healthy) in general.

  2. 343244jp says :

    Oh and the best Extension I use in this regard is StayFocusd, which enables you to block certain websites. You can indicate yourself during which days and hours your browsing activity is restricted, and it even enables you to set a ‘maximum time a day allowed to browse sites on the Blocked Sites list’.

    • m.zigo says :

      Firstly, thanks for enjoying my post! I will definitely have a look at Tabtics extension and see what it delivers. Furthermore, StayFocused seems to be a nice but at the same time radical tool to keep you focused. It is nice that some people think about such a problem and develop interesting little tools like these.
      Cheers!

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