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SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best by Laura Stack

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Chapter 12. eBay and Yahoo! and YouTube, Oh My!

SUPERCOMPETENT Hero Thinking:

I leave distractions for my downtime.

SIMPLY COMPETENT Zero Thinking:

I'd better get to work; I have a lot to do today—hey, I wonder how I'm doing on eBay? It'll only take a minute to check . . .

The most effective time-management system in the world won't do a thing to improve your productivity if you don't focus on the task at hand. For many of us, the problem isn't a lack of willpower; it's having the restraint to refuse fun.

Make no mistake: Productivity in the workplace is under attack. Business Week explored the issue in a 2008 article that reported on the effects of technological distractions in the workplace. The gist of their findings shows the average American office worker spends about 28 percent of the workday on distractions, which ranged from reading personal e-mail to checking out funny videos on YouTube. As a SuperCompetent, this can't be typical of you.

If every worker spent an hour a day on Facebook, what would be the equivalent salary per person . . . across your entire company . . . multiplied by all U.S. companies? It would cause businesses to lose billions each year—exactly why some companies have been forced to block certain sites.

The Internet is a bottomless pit of information—some useful and some not so useful. It's much too easy to sit down to do one thing (pay a bill, look up an address) and end up wasting time on something else entirely (reading news stories or checking your social ...

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