Spring always brings me a fresh new perspective for my business. The first quarter of the year is over and I am ready to dig deep and get the work done. As a branding and web developer, I heavily utilize Google Chrome and their vast array of extensions to aid me in my online business. Here are a few that I use to keep my focus throughout the day and one to help my potential clients focus on me!
Momentum // Replace your new tab screen with a beautiful image or quote and focus for the day. If you are anything like me, I open new browser tabs at the rate of about a million a day. Now though, the first browser tab I open for the day, I set my goal or main task for the day at the bottom of the screen. For the rest of the day, I am reminded of that focus every time I open a new tab. The images are crazy calming and give me a mental break for that instant before refocusing me on my main goal.
MixMax // I am a mamapreneur so if there is a spare second to work, I take it regardless of what time it is. Oftentimes the largest block of free time that I have to send and return emails is first thing in the morning or late at night after kiddo goes to bed. The Mixmax extension allows me to schedule those emails to arrive during normal business hours. It also allows me to snooze emails that I need to take care of at a later time, as well as track if and when someone opens the email that I send. All around, it allows me to focus on the work that needs to be done when I am in my inbox.
Block and Focus // When I do have a large block of dedicated work time, I use the Pomodoro Technique. This is where you set a timer and work for short intervals (traditionally 25 minute blocks with a short break in between and a longer break after a few intervals). This extension combines the Pomodoro timer with a site block to prevent distractions. In the options section, you can configure your work interval, shorter breaks, number of intervals before the longer break, and the longer break. Choose the sites that you want to block and if you try to open them during your work periods, the browser window will display an motivational quote instead. Once your interval is over, a chime will sound and you’ll be able to access the blocked sites during your break.
OneTab // I first heard about OneTab from my lovely friends at One Woman Shop. At the moment that this post is being written, I have seven browser tabs open on my laptop. Some of them are a must (for instance, my CRM Dubsado and my email) but others are just articles or blog posts that I don’t want to lose before I read. All these tabs can become a huge distraction when it is time to buckle down and work. This is where OneTab becomes a sanity saver. It automatically adds all those open tabs to a dynamic list sorted by the date you added them. My browser space (and mental space) is wiped clean and I have a clear place to get down to business.
Wisestamp // Even though social media is king, the majority of our personal and professional interactions are still happening in our inboxes. Wisestamp combines the best of both worlds right in your email signature. It adds live, interactive links to your social media accounts and latest blog posts to your email signature and makes every email you send a snapshot of who you are and what your business does. There are tons of options and configurations in the free version of Wisestamp from your latest Instagram posts to Meeting Scheduler links. The pro version unlocks even more options to customize it completely to your brand.
Hopefully these extensions will help you gain back some focus! I would love to hear how you use your browser to keep your focus throughout the day. Are you already using these extensions? Have a new one not listed here? Let me know in the comments!