More and more people are working from home, and it's safe to say that there are quite a few distractions compared to working in an office. That's why we've come across an easy productivity trick, so that you don't waste hours upon hours on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites and still remain productive. It's so easy to get lost in multi-tasking and it has been shown that doing one thing at a time is a lot better than doing five.
When we sit down to do our work from home, we've found that it's easy to get distracted by social networking sites, feeds and updates, which is why we've taken to using two computers while we work. The main computer in our case is a desktop and we use it to do our work. We've got a laptop right next to it and we usually have Facebook or Twitter apps rolling on it. Now, instead of having to easily switch tabs, you actually have to use another computer or check up on those sites. Here's the smart part. You set up your laptop's screen to switch off quickly, say in one minute, so that you aren't constantly staring at the those time wasting tabs and apps that you love so much.
On a Mac, you click on the battery icon in the Magic Menu. Select Energy Saver Preferences and then slide the Display Sleep slider to the desired time interval. On a PC, open up the Control Panel, select Hardware and Sound, then Power Options. Click 'Choose when to turn off the display' and select the time interval.
Many people feel the need to check up on these types of sites and apps, almost constantly, which can be problematic when you're trying to get things done from home. In workplaces, some employers block Twitter and Facebook sites just because of this fact. Setting up your computer this way allows you to do something akin to this, without being too drastic.
Naturally, you can simply switch off those apps or simply close those tabs, but it's nice to stay informed about what's going on. This trick will also work with multi-monitor setups, in which you can customize each monitor's sleep settings. If you don't have a desktop, you can try using an older laptop. We've done this before, and if you've got enough space, it works fine.
Also, depending on your work situation, you might have to keep an IM client, a tab, Twitter, or Facebook open to communicate with colleagues, partners, and sources. It's an easy way of staying productive, no matter what is happening with your social networking circle.
(photos by Range)