Online Education and Online Jobs – Resurrecting Productivity

Online Distractions

Online Distractions

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I dream of a job that give me flexibility of time and location. I find myself searching through the employment ads of Craigslist.org or our local big classifieds site on KSL.com for legitimate jobs that allow for me to stay employed at home. Most are the “business opportunities” and are scams with companies trying to take advantage of the dreamers like myself. Truth be known, I don’t know if I could handle a work at home job right now in my life. I have a three year old and a one year old at home, and a list of honey do’s that keeps growing from my wife. I find coming to an office is a break at this point in my life, but I know many people may be ready for a work from home career.

That got me thinking and wanting to help others thinking about a work from home career or even thinking about getting their online degree. Those students who are able to develop the discipline to go to school, graduate, and get their online degrees are much further ahead in their modern day work ethics. There are so many distractions at our fingertips now a days that you really have to have a plan of attack to stay focused on tasks and to do what needs to be done. I thought I would try and put together a list of things that have distracted me when working from home and/or studying from home, and actions to overcome the distractions.

online degree at home

Online Degree at Home

Distractions and Actions

Television

If you have a television in your office or study, remove it from your office or study or at the least, TURN IT OFF! If you are a YouTube addict, turn off YouTube. You can even block it using OpenDNS.com or other website blocking services. This can help you to overcome your YouTube addiction.

[top]

Music

Have you ever found yourself jumping up out of your office chair and playing air guitar and taking the lead on the microphone, right in the middle of something very important that needs to be done? Well that’s kind of distracting isn’t it? If your music is distracting you, then you should do something about it. Change what you are listening to, turn it down, or turn it off. Music during work and during studying is not meant for entertainment, it should support your mind in processing information.

[top]

Pajamas

When working at home it can be easy to just work in your underwear and not completely commit yourself to the day. I alway recommend taking a shower and getting ready just like you were heading into an office or up to school. This will help you mentally feel ready for the day and feel like you have already done so much. You should always be ready for any situation and respect yourself, your family, and/or your roommates with good hygiene. :)

[top]

Food is Distracting

Food is Distracting

Empty Stomach

An empty stomach can have a distracting effect. Make sure to feed yourself. You are less likely to get up and snack if you fill your stomach first. I know I often times find myself getting up and snacking all day long. Get what you need and bring it to your office. Schedule breaks for snacks, but treat them like mandatory 15 minute breaks every 3 hours or so. Don’t make them every 10 minutes.

[top]

Instant Messenger

More recently I’ve tried to create a separate Instant Messenger account for work. This has prevented a lot of BS conversation. I know I start a lot of unnecessary conversation over IM. If you get enough friends, the IM conversations never end. Don’t abandon IM altogether, but turn it off when working or studying. Instant Messengers can be a great way to network, but there should be a reason that they’re on. Same can apply to Twitter. This applies to text messaging too. Turn off your phone if it’s too big of a temptation and becomes too big of a problem.

[top]

Unnecessary Programs

I’m sure most of you have plenty of different programs from graphic design to Twitter programs. You should eliminate any distractions that are caused by idle programs. If you need a program you can always reopen it, but don’t leave it sitting idle, shut it down. This will also improve your computer performance by not consuming computer resources.

[top]

Create a Schedule

Create a Schedule

Schedule

Goals require game plans. Your work day or education should have some type of a schedule. Just because your schedule can be flexible doesn’t mean you just do things whenever. You should create a set schedule for working or for studying and doing homework. The flexibility should only be used when it has to be used. Remember that when you take some time out of your schedule you have to put it back in. Flexibility just means that things that are usually done at a specific time can be pushed off to another time. You need to make up any lost time without disturbing the rest of your schedule. This is often times the most important element when it comes to working at home or doing school from home.

[top]

People/Family

When working or schooling from home, boundaries need to be set with your family, friends, and/or roommates. They need to respect your time so you can keep your job and/or get your education. It is much easier for them to respect your time if it is scheduled out. When they don’t know the next time you are going to be available, then it’s easy for them to justify disturbing you. That’s why a consistent schedule is so important. An office with a door and a lock never hurt at all either. It’s nice to create a work/study space. Heck maybe even get yourself one of those “OPEN” signs or some sign that helps to illustrate to people that you do not want to be disturbed. You can teach your kids to understand the sign and to leave mommy or daddy alone when the sign is on.

[top]

Internet is Distracting

Internet is Distracting

Internet

The internet can be a distraction in a bunch of different ways. First of all the obvious, don’t look at stuff that is unrelated to your goals and tasks for the day. I think the internet is the leading cause of ADD now a days. It’s way too distracting and easy to lose your bearings for the day. Second thing that can be distracting is the speed of the internet. You have committed to work or school from home, invest in a decent internet connection. Find something that is quick and reliable. You should be able to write it off on your taxes so you might as well get the good stuff. Sometimes schools and employers will help pay for the connection.

[top]

Computers and Software

OK, the last one is the one you’ve all been waiting for. If your computer sucks and is slow, get one that will help you be more productive. A computer that just works and requires less maintenance. This is a loaded discussion. My two cents is to get yourself a Mac. Sometimes your employer or even your major at school will have required programs you have to use and may require a Windows machine or vice versa. Make sure to ask the right questions to your school or employer before getting a new computer. You may also find that there may be some software that will help you be more productive. Identify the things that you will be doing with the computer and get some programs that will help you be more productive. Again this should be a write off. When purchasing your computer and programs, ask about a student discount, most students get very steep discounts on software and computers.

[top]

Conclusion

Working from home or getting your online degree from home can be a difficult thing to do even though it seems much easier. It requires some organization and planning to make sure that your employer and schooling gets the necessary time and respect. You can apply these suggestions as a full time or part time employee. You can apply these suggestions as a full time or part time student earning their online degree or getting their online training. Make sure to organize what works best for you and respect yourself by executing what you have organized. Stay focused and good luck. Let us know if you think of other things that will help our readers by leaving a comment with your suggestions below.

Click to Find a School
that Offers YOUR Degree

About Brandon Buttars

Brandon Buttars has been involved in web design since 1997 and was formally trained in graphic design. He currently works in web design and search engine optimization which he taught for 2 1/2 years. He's done work for companies such as Novell, Symantec, Omniture, and LANDesk through the various jobs he's held. Brandon is married with 2 sons and 1 son on the way. In his spare time he obsesses over CSS and HTML and likes to play the Wii with his sons.

View all posts by Brandon Buttars →

21 Comments

  • I think that it totally helps if you have a plan. If you just jump in front of the computer with out a plan you find yourself surfing the net endlessly. You got to get a game plan.

    Comment by onesupercoder — May 28, 2009 @ 1:23 pm
  • [...] a strange post:  Online Education as well as Online Jobs – Resurrecting Productivity | My … Filed under: Main Tags: action-against, and-negotiate, companies-hiring, getting-your, [...]

  • [...] Se­e­ th­e­ r­e­st h­e­r­e­: On­lin­e Ed­ucation­ an­d­ On­lin­e Job­s­ – Res&#… [...]

  • Great article! I agree with almost everything. Working from home, especially when you have children there, requires planning. I establish a DMO, daily method of operation, and I stick to it.

    I do have a question for you. Have you been scammed by a home based business opportunity before?

    Comment by David Allred — May 28, 2009 @ 4:42 pm
  • I have had many of the same problems, excellent post. I use an extension called Reminder Fox to do Todo lists, and with my co-workers we have joint todo lists with Evernotes it helps out alot.

    Comment by Jordan Garn — May 28, 2009 @ 4:54 pm
  • [...] Read more: Online Education and Online Jobs – Resurrecting Productivity | My … [...]

  • Thanks for writing, I really liked reading your latest post. I think you should post more frequently, you evidently have natural ability for blogging!

    Comment by My Amazing Weight Loss Story — May 28, 2009 @ 10:23 pm
  • I personally have not been but I’ve dealt with a lot of people who have in their minds. A lot of “opportunities” out there have poor pre-qualification methods. I wrote this article more thinking about the 9 to 5 at home job or thinking about the online student. This of course applies to home based businesses. Home based businesses and business opportunities are different in my mind.

    Comment by Brandon Buttars — May 29, 2009 @ 9:40 am
  • This is an excellent post on how to avoid distractions if you are working or studying from home. A lot of online students find it challenging to stay focused and disciplined in the face of so many distractions and that’s the biggest pitfall of online and distance learning education. I am sure this post will help such students work out a schedule minus all distractions. If you manage to stay committed and disciplined, there is nothing better than the flexibility of learning at home through distance degree programs. You get to save time, money, and energy needed to travel everyday to class.

    Comment by Eric — April 12, 2010 @ 5:09 am
  • there are so many online jobs that you could apply for, some pay well and some does not’.,

    Comment by Socket Set : — October 29, 2010 @ 9:50 am
  • online jobs are many but most of them does not pay well enough so choose an online job well *;.

    Comment by Burt Quill — November 17, 2010 @ 10:29 am
  • Great article. Waiting for more.

    Comment by Billie Bratchett — February 10, 2011 @ 4:48 pm
  • this is one of the nicest blog that i have visited this year.

    Comment by fat loss for idiots — June 2, 2011 @ 7:06 pm
  • This domain seems to recieve a large ammount of visitors. How do you promote it? It offers a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something real or substantial to talk about is the most important factor.

    Comment by Rubye Stamp — June 8, 2011 @ 8:38 pm
  • ‘Thank you for this blog. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something thats eye opening and important. You clearly know so much about the subject, youve covered so many bases. Great stuff from this part of the internet. Again, thank you for this blog.”

    Comment by http://www.homeinspectionsmassachusetts.com — June 12, 2011 @ 6:58 pm
  • Great info over again! Thumbs up!

    Comment by Edie Stinnette — June 13, 2011 @ 12:16 am
  • whoa, this is a quite good writeup. I once stumbled on a topic similar to this once, this is pretty excellent article.

    Comment by used dj equipment — June 13, 2011 @ 8:52 pm
  • Hey there I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake, while I was researching on Google for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

    Comment by starbucks t-discs — June 14, 2011 @ 3:43 am
  • Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content!

  • Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

    Comment by t-discs — June 14, 2011 @ 9:44 am
  • Very point of view publish. Never ever considered that it was this easy after all. I have put in a great deal of my time seeking for somebody to make clear this topic obviously.Great article! Keep up the great work!

    Comment by Treasure Hunters Roadshow 2009 — June 14, 2011 @ 11:02 am

Leave a comment