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I have always loved to research and learning new things.  The internet is a curse and a blessing this way, but mostly a blessing.  It’s a curse on days when my saboteur would rather engage me in distraction instead of working on purpose to advance my action plans.  One visit to Facebook, a news page or a link in an email that informs me that I’m a click away from learning THE secret to my success or my happiness and I can easily find myself swirling in a whirlpool of ways to waste time. 

On the other hand, I have located so many incredible resources on the internet.  There is no way I can allow my saboteur to keep me from people and information I do need to connect to as I grow my business and continue to learn.  It is important to find a way to manage the web of potential distraction.  I have three tips to share that help me keep my visits online on purpose and avoid meandering about.

1.  Google Reader – When I want to find advice or inspiration, I turn to my Google Reader.  It contains a selective list of blogs I have found to be informative, well written and directed to either adding to my knowledge or motivating me.  It took a bit of time to assemble a balanced menu but it was well worth it.

2.  Inspection of Intention – If I’m browsing just to chill out after a long day, then I allow myself time to cruise around and check out new things randomly.  During my work day, however, I closely monitor my intention each time I go to the internet.  I know that when I am on it, that means I am not coaching a client, writing my memoir or making business calls.  Therefore, I consciously remind myself that my time away from these things needs to be brief and with a purpose related to my business.  I am clear about my intention before I sign on and once I have achieved my goal, whether it is finding a contact name, posting my blog or doing other necessary research, I get back to my offline activities.

3.  Setting Email Reading Times – This is not new news.  It is just a reminder that this works.  It takes incredible discipline but I do feel it increases my productivity to keep the bulk of my email reading for three specific time slots.  I was doing first thing in the morning, mid-day when people tend to be at lunch and end of day.  Then I read recently that by working for the first hour of the day BEFORE checking email and responding, you can increase productivity even more.  I’ll be experimenting with that tomorrow as I always love a tip like this.

Check back in tomorrow for “Paying It 4Ward” ~ I will be sharing four links to great blogs or websites I turn to for information or inspiration to help add valuable content to your online reading or Google Reader.

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