Attn: Independent Financial Advisors: Use these Apps to Avoid Digital Distractions and Boost Workplace Productivity

Independent Financial Advisors AppsWired for distraction? How to avoid wasting time on the Internet for non-work purposes

Are you distracted at work by social media, viral cat videos, your fantasy football league, stalking eBay auctions, or every notification “ding” that comes through on your smartphone or computer?

“Warren Buffett commented on a post you were tagged in” … “@POTUS mentioned you on Twitter” … “You have 96 new messages”.

It can be tough to admit, but you’re likely accustomed to this daily drill of digital distractions. So what now? Even if you know what a timewaster these types of behaviors are, it can take an unprecedented amount of self-control to stay away from these things. But first things first, keep in mind that nobody’s perfect and it’s an unreasonable expectation for a person to have robotic, unflappable laser-like focus on work for every second of his or her workday. In fact, the digital distraction phenomenon has become universal—not only among independent financial advisors but also in nearly every industry. So much so, that there are even slang terms/buzzwords associated with the behavior: the increasingly popular and culturally relevant terms “cyberslacking” and “cyberloafing” refer to employees using their companies’ Internet access for nonwork-related purposes during working hours.

How much time a day would you say you waste cyberloafing/cyberslacking at work? Whatever that number is, you’re probably underestimating. It’s time to face the facts and get some cold hard data on your timewasting behavior. In all likelihood, you’ll be surprised, if not horrified, by how much time you spend on particular webpages not related to work functions.

If you use Google Chrome as your web browser at work, consider downloading the free Chrome app timeStats. This browser add-on will run in the background of your computer, collecting statistics that keep track of how much time you spend on websites. You can glean all sorts of information from the information collected on Time Stats. For example, you can see:

  • Daily statistics: showing the statistics of websites visited by day
  • Monthly statistics: Showing the statistics of websites visited by month
  • Visited sites: taken from the complete statistics about your browsing
  • Site statistics: showing how much time you spend on certain website during the time you have Time Stats installed
  • Time spent: showing the total amount of time you spend browsing each day
  • Most visited domains: the complete list of the most visited domains from the most visited to the least visited
  • Most busiest days: the days you spend the largest amount of time browsing the Web.

Try collecting data via Time Stats for at least a week or two, so that you can amass some significant statistics on your Web usage and identify how much time you waste on non-work related Internet activities as well as learn what websites you waste the most time on. (By the way, take into account that this is only measuring your timewasting activities on your work computer, not your smartphone).

Willpower and the desire to be disciplined at work are typically not enough to fix the problem. For an extra boost to your self-control, try an app that makes it easier to say no to distractions by blocking your access to the places on the Web where you are most likely to waste your time. While these apps may make it easier to say no to distractions, keep in mind that they aren’t a magic cure-all to your timewasting behaviors—you’re still going to have to play an active role in exerting discipline and willpower at work.

For some extra help in the fight against digital distractions, check out these apps:

  • SelfControl: SelfControl is a free and open-source application for Mac OS X that lets you block your ownaccess to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites.
  • StayFocusd: StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on timewasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
  • RescueTime: RescueTime, which is available for both Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS X, runs securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices. It tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day. It also gives you detailed reports and data based on your activity. You can block distracting websites by choosing an amount of time to focus and RescueTime will then block those websites.

Whether you’re struggling with time management, work distractions, productivity problems, or any other issue that may arise during the course of operating your business and servicing your clients, Summit’s best-in-the-industry broker dealer services will provide you with the tools and support you need to solve any issues that may get in the way of growing your business and reaching new levels of professional achievement. Here at Summit, we are in the business of your success and will stop at nothing to give you the best, personalized support structure in the industry. Don’t go at it alone—for more information on Summit Brokerage Services and joining the Summit team as an independent financial advisor, visit http://www.joinsummit.com/ or contact us at (800) 354-5528.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.

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