How To Get It All Done Online
People frequently ask me how I do as much as I seem to be doing online. Frequently, when they say it, the subtext is… and so when do you actually accomplish anything useful?
I try to ignore that, or at least not let it get to me, for two reasons.
First, what I’m doing is often very useful indeed. It’s research to get my work done, or it’s reputation-building – sharing or connecting – that helps me get work. After all, I wrote a master’s thesis based entirely on online research, and I work remotely full-time now: online is, in a very real sense, where I live a good bit of the time.
True, it’s also sometimes a bit of time-wasting – but considering I don’t watch live TV, read magazines or play video games, I’m okay with a bit of Etsy window-shopping and Reddit browsing.
But the other reason that I try not to let it bother me when people imply that I’m spending too much time online is that – here’s the secret – I’m actually not.
Here’s how to look like you’re getting it all done while you’re actually at the gym or at brunch.
- Type faster. I type 90 words a minute. That’s not far from speaking speed. I can get things done quickly online because I’m simply physically fast at it. There are a million free online resources to improve your typing speed.
- Search more efficiently. It doesn’t take me a lot of wrong turns to find what I’m looking for, whether that’s an answer, a product or a person. This could be a whole post of tips and tricks itself.
- Curate tight. I keep the people and sources I stay up-to-date with at or below certain limits, and regularly purge those that are too prolific or not helpful enough. Cut the noise.
- Schedule. A clue into my world: when you see things appear, I am often not right there doing it. (Like this post.) When inspiration appears, I load up a queue and schedule posts, tweets, etc. to show up in a nice stretched-out fashion. If you want people to see your content, you have to figure out when and where they’re watching, and put things out accordingly. Doesn’t mean you have to do it live, though.