While social networking is a great tool for many different reasons, it's not always easy to be remain productive while you've got Facebook and Twitter running. We've found that constantly checking up on social networking feeds can actually be counterproductive. There are some easy ways to get around this in order to stay productive, especially when you spend time in front of a computer.
Spending significant amounts of time offline might seem like anathema for some people, but it's a good way of staying focused and productive. There are many ways that you can remain productive while on the Internet. The trick is not getting distracted too much with social networking, which can be eerily time consuming.
1. Spending Time Offline: If you are able to unplug for hours at a time, then it should be easy to stay productive. Simply having the willpower not to constantly check on Facebook, Twitter, and/or other apps is the easiest way of doing so.
2. Switching Browsers: We tend to use one browser for work-related issues, and one when we are browsing for fun. The work-related browser, Firefox, is logged into all of the right accounts to allow faster access to our work. The fun browser, Google Chrome, isn't logged into anything.
3. Quiet Hours: Lifehacker's Adam Pash released a nice little app that will shutdown some social networking apps for a pre-determined time to allow you to remain productive. It works for Windows and OS X and you can get the program here (zip archive download).
4. Keep Social Networking Tabs Closed: While this might seem a simplistic approach to remaining productive, it's an easy way of controlling how much time you spend on social networking. We never keep a Facebook or Twitter page open. We always close it and check on it periodically, to reward ourselves or to take a break.
5. Physically Unplug: Disconnecting from your WiFi network, shutting down your router, or physically unplugging the cables are all possibilities if you really want to focus on something. The trick is to stay offline for a pre-determined period so that you can get things down. In our experience, using offline hours can be pretty productive.