While it’s not rare to hear people talking all about how the internet can benefit the average person in their daily life, and why it’s important for everyone to keep exploring the potential of this technology in their own lives, it seems like there’s a shortage of actual examples. As a result, many remain confused about the ways they should be using the internet, and still see it as something mystical and complicated, which is not even worth putting the effort into learning. But the truth is, it’s not actually that complicated to ensure that you stay at the top of your game with the help of the internet. You just have to use it right.
Subscribe to the Right Communities
The ease of communication that this technology brings to the table is by far one of the best benefits that can be pointed out in its favour. Getting in touch with people from all over the world is a piece of cake, and you can easily maintain those relationships remotely too. There are entire communities online dedicated to specific topics, and you can find discussions on pretty much anything you can imagine, even down to the most obscure topics in your head.
And that’s great for those who want to improve their skills in certain activities. It’s easier than ever to join a community related to that topic and immediately start exchanging knowledge and ideas with people from all over the world. The only downside to this is that you’ll quickly realise that your skills are likely nothing special in the grand scheme of things – but this kind of humbling experience is definitely a beneficial factor in the long run, once you get over it.
Use Browser Extensions to Stay Focused
Do you often find yourself getting distracted from your work by opening Facebook, reddit, 9gag, or a similar website? You probably don’t even think about it – it’s just a habit when your mind is bored or racing. You open a new tab, type in a few familiar keystrokes, and before you realise what’s going on, you’ve spent the last 15 minutes scrolling through a wall of meaningless posts that contribute nothing to your work.
Using browser extensions is a good way to combat that. You can block specific sites and even set specific schedules for that, so you’ll instantly get a “slap in your face” whenever you try opening Facebook, snapping you back into reality. You’ll be surprised how often you see that “SITE IS BLOCKED” error message without even realising that you’ve tried going there in the first place. But sooner or later, you’ll notice the habits starting to break down.
Podcasts Are a Fantastic Resource
A good way to improve your productivity during periods of downtime is to listen to podcasts. They can be a fantastic way to fill your time when doing something that allows you to listen and partially focus. Driving to and from work is a good example, as is working out. Some people even use their favourite podcasts to fall asleep, although the educational benefits of that are questionable at best.
But in any case, once you’ve found a few good podcasts worth listening to, you’ll also start identifying many opportunities in your daily routine to listen to them and enjoy what they have to teach you without any interruptions. There are podcasts available on pretty much any topic you can think of, so all it takes is to pick one that strikes your fancy, and start following it.
And if you want to acquire some deeper skills, you also have various opportunities for in-depth learning available thanks to the internet. Sites like findcourses.com make it easy to find and compare the many options available for professional development out there.
The important thing is to choose a course that is relevant to something that you are currently doing or will be able to do soon. That way you can practice your new skills while the knowledge is still fresh in your mind.
Turn Your Daily Chores into a Game!
This might sound like a strange one, but it’s actually a very popular trend lately. Some game developers have released titles that imitate the gameplay of traditional RPGs, but are actually designed to help you deal with your own daily tasks instead. You “complete quests” by doing your chores – which you input and organise yourself – and you’re rewarded for that, typically with experience points or gold, or another similar in-game resource.
The point is that you can then use this resource on personal rewards. Want to play video games for an hour? It will cost you 100 gold. Leave the dishes for tomorrow? 50 gold. You get the idea. This kind of game can be surprisingly addictive, and as long as you don’t cheat – which is entirely up to you – it can be an interesting way to gamify the annoying parts of your daily life. It can take a while to find the right balance between quests and rewards, but it can take the idea of “I’ll have fun when I’m done with this task” to a whole new level.
Track Your Time
How much time do you spend working each day? What about gaming? Social media? Idle scrolling through a meme website? Many people have a severely skewed view of this aspect of their lives. Just because you’re getting your chores done, doesn’t mean that you’re utilising your time to its full potential. Far from it, in fact. And if you don’t believe us, use a time-tracking application for a couple of weeks and see the results for yourself. Be aware though, this can be a bit of a shock to some people, and it can cause you to significantly re-evaluate what you’re doing with your time, and with your life in general. But it can be a great kickstart to implementing some of the suggestions we mentioned above, once you see just how bad things are with your own eyes.
The internet is a great tool for boosting productivity and promoting positive values in people. But like any other tool, it has to be used responsibly. It also has some abuse for potential, which should definitely not be underestimated. But as long as you have an objective overview of the situation and pay attention to your own behaviour, you should be able to get a lot of extra work done on a day-to-day basis. And the best part is, you won’t even feel like anything has changed in terms of how much energy you need!