Use “Later” Buttons To Avoid Being Distracted Online & Get More Work Done

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It happens all the time. You mean to get some work done, and then find an article or video that ends up taking a half hour of your time. This is the peril of the Internet age: computers, the machines most of us use to do our jobs, are also connected to an endless source of entertainment. Save those distractions for later so you can get back to work without missing out on anything.

Services like Instapaper and Boxee offer free bookmarklets for saving articles and videos, respectively. It doesn’t matter what browser you use; all you need to do is click a bookmark and would-be distractions are sent to a place where you can access them later. Heck, even if those two services don’t work for you, a simple bookmark can do the same job.


The technology here is cool, but the most important thing is discipline. That’s why a simple bookmark folder can effectively accomplish the same goal. Contain your distractions; get more done.

Read Later

Instapaper is a simple web app, but a good one. All it does is take articles you find from around the web, remove the various formatting/advertisements that surround them, and save them in an playlist for you to read later.

Find the “Read Later” bookmarket on Instapaper’s extras page. Drag it to your desktop, and you’re ready to save articles for later.

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Instapaper is an ideal place to save articles for reading later for a variety of reasons. There are iPhone and iPad apps for reading on the go, and it’s even possible to read Instapaper on any e-book reader. Try it out and see if it improves your workflow!

Watch It Later

Articles are somewhat distracting, but videos are an even bigger problem. Capable of eating enormous amounts of time, online video is definitely best left for after work hours. Boxee can help with this.

Boxee is among the best media center applications on the planet, but it can also help with your workflow. Sign up for a Boxee account, head to the services page and you’ll find a bookmarklet to drag to your bookmarks toolbar. Click this when you find a video and it will be sent to your Boxee queue.

This is not only a great way to save your videos for later; it’s also a great way to share videos you find online with friends and family. Since Boxee is best on a television, sending videos to Boxee is a great way to watch them in a group. Try this out; you’ll probably love it.

Bookmarks

Like the idea of saving distractions for later, but don’t have any interest in using Boxee or Instapaper? Don’t worry. Simply set aside a folder in your browsers bookmarks for reading and watching stuff later. It may not be as snazzy as the above options, but the end-game is just as successful: your distractions are put aside but not forgotten.

Combine this strategy with a good bookmarking service, such as the (not dead!) XMarks, and you’re ready to send your distractions home where they belong.

Conclusion

This list is by no means definitive; it’s just meant to point out that distractions are best left until after work is done, and that there are tools out there that can help. Do you know of any other ways to achieve this? Share them in the comments below. Also feel free to share amazingly distracting videos and articles; I’ll take a look at them after work.

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Comments (19)
  • jhpot

    The ePub link downloads all my “read it later” stories from Instapaper in one file, so I can read them on my Kobo. Try it:

    http://www.instapaper.com/epub

    If you have an Instapaper account, of course.

  • Saikat Basu

    The only problem that I see is that it takes a lot of discipline to first click ‘read it later’ and second to come back to it and read all the backlog of articles. Right now, I have a huge list waiting for my eyes. Talk about information overload :)

  • Steve

    I use Evermore to save articles to read later. You can then organise them into categories and add tags

  • Jays Blog

    I need this kind off app use later buttons like yesterday. It is so easy to get distracted online checking emails, Facebook, Googling, whatever it may be. Than when you look at the clock 2 hours have passed and you have not gotten any work done. Very clever something I personally can put to good use.

  • Dlchally

    Instapaper’s bookmarklet is “Read Later” whereas “Read It Later” is a service similar to Instapaper.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.