This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Sam Maley
One of the best things about working in a coworking space is that the focused atmosphere around you helps to keep you on task.
After all, no-one wants to be “that guy” sitting on social media all day while everyone around them is blasting through their to-do list.
Coronavirus has forced entrepreneurs and solopreneurs to work completely at home. This has made falling prey to distractions all too easy.
To help with this problem, here are 5 browser extensions that can help you stay productive even while you are working in your pajamas.
One of the easiest time-sucks to fall into is irrelevant websites and social media.
While you can physically remove yourself from other distractions such as Netflix and games consoles, the internet is a necessity for work, so its distractions are always lurking in the background.
Enter StayFocusd. StayFocusd allows you to set certain time limits for specific sites and block certain websites altogether.
It’s perfect for those of us who often communicate with other entrepreneurs on social media and fall into the trap of wasting time on these platforms under the guise of work.
Combine this with minimizing your phone time while working and you are well set to make the most of each day.
Almost all entrepreneurs start off the day by creating a to-do list. It allows us to focus on specific tasks at hand rather than trying to remember what needs to be done next.
But during the day our to-do lists can change, leading to written lists becoming messy and disorganized as we change our priorities.
Todoist allows you to have a drop-down to-do list in your browser. This list can be quickly amended, and even shared between team members without all having to plugin to a particular platform.
We can now say goodbye to messy notebooks.
3. The Great Suspender
Most tasks involve jumping back and forth between tabs. If you look at the top of your page now, I’m willing to bet that you have at least 5 tabs open. For many of us it will be far, far more than that (I’m currently on 14).
While we think that having a whole load of tabs open at once helps us work faster, it gets to the point where our computer slows down to a snail’s pace. This creates a situation where we spend as much time waiting for pages to load as we do getting work done.
The Great Suspender was a Chrome extension that suspended background tabs. The background tabs were only fully loaded when clicked on, which freed up a boatload of processing speed and allowed everything to run just that bit faster.
Unfortunately Google discontinued The Great Suspender, but you can find 3 secure alternatives to this extension here.
4. Marinara (Pomodoro App)
If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro Technique, it involves breaking up your time into 25 minutes of exclusively concentrated work, followed by a five-minute break.
This cycle is then repeated throughout the day.
When working with external timers, such as a stopwatch or phone, it’s too easy to forget to set your timer each round, leading to extended breaks and inconsistent work patterns.
The Marinara extension allows you to set a whole day’s worth of Pomodoro cycles at the start of the day. After that, it is just a simple case of working and taking breaks when your computer tells you.
If you are looking to send cold emails, a tool like Hunter.io can save you hours upon hours of time.
Hunter.io scrapes the internet for specific emails to a domain. Say you are looking to email someone from MELD. Hunter will find all email addresses that contain “@meldcoworking.com”.
It can sometimes take as long as 15 minutes to find an email address, leading to the prospecting of even a small email campaign to take several days.
Hunter can significantly speed this up, and it also plugs into Google sheets to allow batch email finds.
About the Author
Sam Maley is the Marketing Director for Bailey & Associates, an IT Strategy consulting firm in the UK.