Using blocking app tech is the work hack we all need right now
All work and no play make for an unproductive worker, some say. But there’s a line between taking a break and turning company time into “me” time. Online shopping at the office falls into the latter category. And yet it’s more common than you might think. A Canadian survey found that 45 percent of respondents admitted to shopping while at work – especially around holidays. Across the pond in the UK, some two-thirds of employees also confessed to using time they are paid to work to instead check out web deals.
It’s not our place to be overly judgmental about you ‘wasting your employer’s time’ but here’s something to consider that affects all workers: If too many people are too distracted by open internet policies at work, it’s a good bet that the powers-that-be will begin to enact measures that restrict the free use of internet while on the job. And that would suck. Being monitored is paternalistic and demoralizing. So, to avoid a crackdown, perhaps we should consider policing ourselves and being a bit more responsible about time-management at work.
Leaning to Better Manage Time at Work Ends Up Giving You More Free Time
It’s easy to fall into temptation, and online shopping is just the latest web trap a growing number of people are getting snagged in at work. You’ll be reading something completely work-related and then…a mention of something and…there’s that link. All you have to do is click it and before you know it, you’ve ordered a new flat screen and six pairs of running shoes…and you don’t even jog! The number of people who agree they are addicted to online shopping is growing – and those are just the folks who admit it! You don’t even need to memorize your credit card number or type in a delivery address – autofill’s gotcha covered. It’s just oh-so-easy. One-click – and it’s delivered tomorrow.
People suffering from depression or anxiety may choose to ameliorate their concerns by getting lost in a world of online sales and offers but using the office computer for personal stuff is an accident waiting to happen. For example, someone using a company computer to shop might end up inadvertently infecting the firm’s system with malware; and that’s something bosses don’t look kindly on.
Some people excuse their actions by blaming the job. And sure, there are “boring” jobs. But those who manage their time well and get stuff done during work hours – even if the work isn’t all that stimulating – have higher levels of job satisfaction and more free time. Finding a way to concentrate could save your job, and make you happier. As mentioned above, most people don’t want employers to restrict their internet access. But what if the person doing the restricting was you?
Using a Blocking App Leads to Getting More Done, in a Shorter Time!
A fad going around workplaces – and that includes home offices – is installing a blocking app. A good blocking app gives you a huge amount of choice over how you structure your day. You could allow yourself 15 minutes on social media and then choose to have the sites blocked for the rest of the workday. The app can block those: “check out our latest offering” emails that you thought you unsubscribed from.
Synced across all your devices, a blocking app is your personal online bodyguard. All you do is install the app, then pick the times you want reserved for work and sites you want blocked. Voilà! People on a diet don’t keep gallons of ice-cream in the fridge and alcoholics don’t leave bottles of booze laying around their homes. Why? Not because they’re weak, but because they’re smart. “Out of sight, out of mind” makes the fight easier.
By limiting yourself to work-related projects during work hours – and of course, taking those breaks when you need them – stuff gets done. Getting stuff done feels good. It can be liberating. The shopping site is blocked, so the choice is out of your hands. You don’t fall prey and therefore you don’t have to beat yourself up after wasting 45 minutes looking at various color shades of some item on sale. We all know an environment affects a person’s psychological condition.
If you work in a messy room it’s more likely you will produce messy work. There are scientific studies that show this but it’s also common sense. Environment plays a massive role in our lives. It’s not possible to completely control your environment. It is possible, however, to take the reins in some areas and control a degree of your surroundings. The last year or so has been rough. With nearly everything moving online, online additions of all kinds are spiking. We can’t avoid the internet, but we can – with a blocking app – take back a significant degree of control.
Remy is a technical writer at TechPout. Being an IT enthusiast, he inclines to write about contemporary technology and growing security for machines. One steadfast follower of Baseball, Remy is an active social worker and a gastronome.
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