Quick tips for better browsing

browsersThis is just a short list of things you can do to make your internet browsing experience more unproductive. Feel free to mix this into your normal repertoire, and build on it.

Any time you spend not-goofing-off is time you’ll never get back,  so you should attack productivity early and often. An easy trick to quickly and repeatedly sabotage any motivation is setting your home page to something that makes you forget why you signed on. I like the free section of Craigslist, but you can use Facebook, or even some sort of blog aggregator. Then just go about your day. Eventually you’ll need to look something up, or check an account balance, and you’ll suddenly get distracted, entranced, and back off-track.

Have I mentioned subscribing to blogs? What I hate most about my favorite blogs is that I often forget to go there every day. By visiting manually, you run the risk of becoming one of those people who only looks around when they’re bored! You should be eating when you’re bored. What good is it to you, if you go there only when it’s convenient? By rounding them up, and hiding them behind one link, a blog aggregator makes it easier for you to remember every single blog in one click. You’ll have so many things coming in, you’ll be drowning in information. (Note to self: “Drowning” as possible blog post.)
Having your favorite blog posts delivered to you is nothing short of miraculous. Sure, technically, the technology exists to (shudder) save time, but with some careful hacking, it can become a powerful hour-squandering mechanism. All you have to do is overload it. Subscribe to every blog that you might visit (or are just curious about), and pay particular attention to the prolific ones. Keep an eye out. Sites you wouldn’t expect sometimes have a little RSS icon on them.

Speaking of bookmarks… here’s an easy tip. Don’t organize your bookmarks. Nope. Just stick ’em all in one folder. Then try to sift through them when you want to remember something. It’s a good idea to try to overuse the bookmark function, as well, to compound the damage.

When browsing, many people don’t use the tab function to its fullest. You should open everything that seems potentially amusing in a new tab. By using this simple step, you can up your down-time almost indefinitely. Here’s an example: When reading a news article about an artist in Oklahoma*, you notice a link to the artist’s website and another link to the OK Art Museum**. Go ahead and open both links in new tabs and finish reading the article. Now you may navigate to another article afterward or just close the tab, but either way the legwork is done. Eventually you’ll close the tab to find 2 more sites waiting for you! You just tripled your reading material, and with any luck, you’ll find a few links on the new sites to keep you going. This method is especially effective in Wikipedia.

Alright. See you next time.

*This example is fictional. There are no artists in Oklahoma. **Also doesn’t exist.

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