How To Use Procrastination To Enhance Online Productivity

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If you’re a productivity freak like me, you might've tried every possible method to solve your procrastination woes. No matter how hard you try, if your work involves researching stuff on the Internet, you tend to put off important things. “Oh, I have that report to submit. I’m kinda bored right now, maybe I’ll check Reddit for 5 minutes and then start.” You visited and after four hours you realized, “Oh sh*t! Where did the time go?”

Been there. Done that.

Procrastination is a problem everyone suffers from; maybe its severity differs from person to person, but there’s no denying the fact that everyone procrastinates.

So, if procrastination isn't that bad, why do I end up in such a mess? -Because it is important that you learn some self-control so that you won’t be putting things off every so often.

That said, not every kind of procrastination is bad. It’s time you learn to use it to your advantage. Today, we've compiled a list of some great techniques that will help you use procrastination to enhance your overall online productivity. Sounds crazy right? Read on.

Step 1: Aggregate

You should stop visiting or browsing your favorite news sites or blogs one by one. I suggest using an RSS feed reader like Google Reader or Feedly to aggregate the contents of your most-visited sites. Personally, I prefer Feedly as it has more features and is much more easy to use. It doesn't matter what you use; it’s totally up to you. To get started, add feeds of your favorite news sites or blogs to your RSS reader. Then, set a specific time of the day when you want to get your daily dose of news or blog madness and then bask in the glory of a fully productive day by saving some quality time.

Step 2: Procrastinate

Now that you've aggregated all your stuff, it’s time to put procrastination into action. Whenever you come across an article, especially a long one, just pause for a moment and think whether you actually want to spend your time reading it. If the answer is no, skip to the next one. If the answer is yes, then decide whether you can actually spend your time reading it.

If, in case, the article is really long, use a service like Read It Later or Instapaper to read the article for a nice lazy Sunday read. Alternatively, you can use Feedly’s built-in ‘save for later’ feature, which lets you keep a list of all the articles you want to read later. To start using it, simply press the ‘s’ key while on an article.

When it comes to browsing articles on the web, i.e. the links you come across while browsing Reddit, Stumbleupon, and Digg, use the Read It Later bookmarklets to keep a list of everything important. Alternatively, you can use Instapaper, which too provides similar features.

Time-based Procrastination

Whilst procrastinating, you might come across an article that you really want to read but don’t currently have the time to. In that case, the best thing to do is use Remember The Milk. For Chrome users, simply go to this page and add the Quickadd bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar. Now, whenever you come across something interesting, simply hit the bookmarklet. This will create a new task with the page’s URL. The best thing about this method is that you can set RTM to remind you about the article any time you want.

For Kindle Users

Finally, if you’re a Kindle user, there’s a service called, which, once activated, lets you send web articles to your Kindle or your Android phone with a click of a button. Simply install the service’s Chrome extension or bookmarklet and you’re good to go. The service also comes with a feature that lets you read your Google Reader feeds on your Kindle even when offline. Cool huh?

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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