Apps are fun and cool, which is why they’re so popular. And while many apps are useful and time time-savers, many others do a lot to lower your productivity.
If you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day already, it doesn’t make sense to spend time on things that have minimal value.
Turn the silly things off. Focus on your work and when you take a short, timed break, you can play for a few minutes.
Here are a few such online apps that probably hurt more than they help:
- Twitter. You don’t need to know what your favorite celebrity is up to. Do you really need to know what the President has to say, right now? It will be on the news if it is significant. Surely, it’s more important to focus on your own life! Is it critical that you be informed (while you’re working) that your friend from high school just left the movies to go shopping for a new pair of shoes? Come on, now. Really?
- Any kind of messaging app. Messenger apps just make it easy for people to interrupt what you’re doing. You jump at the chance to take a little break and, before you know it, 30+ minutes have passed. Don’t log into these things unless you’re done working for the day. Even at night, it would be better to just get on the phone and talk like a real person.
- Email notifications. Email can be a great tool but it can also be a huge waste of time. Check your email in the morning and at night. The last thing 99% of the population needs is an email notification every 5 minutes, because then you just know that you have to check it. It will drive you nuts until you finally cave and see what’s going on.
- Many highly efficient and successful people make it a point to check their email no more than twice a day. Most only check it once a day. Some only check it a couple of times a week. They have better things to do, and you could, too, with such a system.
- Blogs. Good blogs are highly interesting and informative. Give yourself a time limit or limit yourself to a set number of blogs. Life is all about prioritizing, so set some priorities.
- Facebook. It can be a great way to keep in touch, but it’s much like Twitter: 99% of the stuff you’re exposed to is fluff. Viewing pictures of someone’s trip to Africa is interesting. Reading that your friend is sitting on the deck drinking margaritas is of questionable value. You have a life to live, do you really have time for this stuff?
- Again, set some limits and strive to stay within them. Also consider limiting the number of ‘friends’ that you have. No one has 500 real friends.
- Social bookmarking sites. Websites like Digg, Delicious, Reddit, and other bookmarking sites are great tools for finding blogs, articles, and sites related to your interests. Just be careful how much time you’re spending on them. It’s easy to be fed 1,000 interesting sites every day. It’s also easy to burn a lot of time on them. Be careful.
Online apps can be wonderful, if they’re used wisely. Don’t spend a lot of time on what are essentially frivolous things. Life is short! Focus on what you want to get done each day and avoid letting such apps steal away your time that you could be using to make your dreams come true.