Whether for work or leisure, using technology can demand a lot of time and attention..
There’s just so much to get done, in the online world. With roughly 5.6 billion Google searches happening each day, it’s safe to say that humanity is addicted to the digital ecosystem that is the internet. Without getting into the marketing related topics of using web browsers (for example, evaluating search ranking), much of the way we use the web depends on how we like to organize our own time and research methods. For some, dozens of scattered, no-name Google docs and music players are the way to go. For others, leveraging browser tab sessions and toggling between them (a more organized approach) is their preferred means to an end. The bottom line is that our internet browsing takes up a lot of our time, but some people are saving more time than others. Today, I want to share 5 time management tips for your life that start in the web browser.
1. Use Browser Session Tabs to Save Time
If you’re like most people who use their web browser to access important documents, databases, websites for work, etc, then you likely have some level of repetition in the kinds of links you open. Specifically, the process of navigating to multiple pages to achieve a task, over and over again, means there is room to automate and save time. If you know that you need websites X, Y and Z opened to complete a specific work task, then you should group those tabs together with a service like Partizion, to save browser tabs and easily open (or close) them all at once. Their platform is currently (Feb 2021) in beta and only USD $4/month. This can also help prevent you from getting distracted with other websites. If you want to go to the next level, you could write a custom script that disables URL navigation and requires you to select one of your preset “collections” within a platform like Partizion, so you’re literally not able to navigate anywhere else. Although if you’re at that point, you may need to explore more serious, time-management related training.
2. Set Browser Time Intervals for Time Spent Online
A common solution for optimizing time spent online, is through time intervals where you perform a task and; at the conclusion of the time, stop and step away from your computer. This is a common training mechanism for children who spend too much time online, but can also be effective for adults in the professional workplace. Personally, I spend a lot of time in the web browser, and that time eventually seems to wander off, as I become gradually fatigued and distracted throughout the day. Having a preset time allowance to complete tasks can help mitigate time you spend online, and it might also help place (a healthy amount of) pressure on completing the task at hand. If you want a more scientifically backed approach to time management, I suggest checking out the Pomodoro technique, which has been regarded by many as the most effective way to monitor your time.
3. Use Time Management Browser Plugins
As it turns out, the solution to technology addiction might actually be.. More technology! There are an abundance of plugins available on most web browser marketplaces, that seek to optimize your performance and time management, online. As I mentioned earlier, Partizion is one such example of a plugin that is specifically designed for time management optimization. The world of plugins extends much further, however. You can find a plugin for nearly anything that you do online, from simple alarm clocks to sophisticated SEO and price point analysis tools that help your business or personal life. If you’re into online shopping, I suggest tools like Honey, which can help you save money (and time) by automatically scraping various online stores to make sure you’re getting the best deal on the items you’re about to purchase. There’s really no end to the benefit of plugins, and most can be accessed for free, with a quick installation from the plugin marketplace that your browser of choice provides (except Safari, sorry team Apple).
4. Reduce Number of Browser Tabs Open in General
This time management tip is more to do with your behaviour online, although there could very well be a script plugin that restricts the total number of tabs open at once. If we want to get literal- multiple tabs eat up your computer processing power, which can in turn, result in slower computer speeds, which is a direct detriment to that amount of time you’re hoping to save. Keeping your tab collection to a minimum is also a great strategy for not getting overwhelmed. Multiple tabs might seem like a good idea to remind you of all the other things you have to do before the day ends, but it can also add anxiety and pressure, which are more harmful than good. On average, I personally have no more than 10 tabs open. This might seem like a lot to some, but for others this could be a radical reduction- it all depends on what your tasks are and what your experience is, with managing tabs in a browser. In general, if you don’t need it, close it.
5. Switch to Apps (Get out of the Desktop)
The final suggestion for saving time in the browser, is to switch to mobile. Specifically, switching to mobile and NOT sitting at your desk. The whole value of mobile computing is that you are able to perform your tasks on the go, which means you can head to your next meeting or go on a hike, all the while catching up on important training videos, or just chatting with your friends (yes, there are still people who prefer to sit at their desktop and IM). Some might say that mobile versions of web browsing experiences are not as high quality (less attention paid to the UI) as their desktop counterparts, which could result in decreased activity time. Perhaps, but a poor navigation experience in mobile might just be enough to convince someone to get on with their day. If you’re using your web browser to access important team-related resources (like group chats via Slack), then you should definitely do some digging to see if there’s a mobile version available. Slack on mobile works perfectly great.
In general, time management while using the web is a relatively new topic of interest. It wasn’t until the mid 2000s when studies began appearing, indicating that computer users were finding themselves distracted and “losing track of time” when playing video games, performing computer calculations, etc. Fast forward to today and the numbers show that our very lives are absorbed by this digital landscape. You owe it to yourself to get back your precious time and do more of what matters most.
Try a tab managing platform like Partizion, allocate time to complete web-related tasks with techniques like Pomodoro, and above all, be conscious of what you do online, and how much of your time it’s really taking. If you enjoyed this Mod, you might like to read more about these 5 Tips to Prevent WFH Burnout! Please share this Mod using the social links below.