A significant number of job sites provide at least two ways to stay updated with new postings. Either through email subscription or their RSS feed. Guess which one’s better?
That’s right: RSS. There’s already enough to handle in your email inbox, so why add more pain with email subscriptions? By using a feedreader, software that lists the RSS feeds you’ve subscribed to for easy reference, you keep new content away from your email client, which is exactly how things should be.
Email was created as a convenient way of sending messages to each other, meaning you shouldn’t use it to keep on top of your favorite websites. In fact, receiving updates through email is a great way to ruin your productivity, as you feel the need to check it out right away before it gets lost in your inbox.
RSS, on the other hand, lets you view new job postings at your leisure. Of course, it’s crucial that you check these out on a timely basis, but at least you get to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
What if a job site doesn’t feature RSS? Then it isn’t worth your time. It’s relatively easy for a website owner to setup an RSS feed, and he can even offer different RSS feeds for different content categories. Alfa’s homebased job posts category feed is a great example. A website lacking RSS doesn’t place visitor convenience on the top of its list, so why should you patronize it?
Bottom line: use email for communication, and RSS to find new job postings that suit your skills. That’s how they were meant to be used.
You Can Get Distracted, But…
Stick with one thing at a time!
When I work I’m sometimes bogged down by distractions (especially by IM). It doesn’t help that I do most of my work online, with my favorite time-wasting sites just a few clicks away.
Succumbing to temptation is normal, a reality accepted by Merlin’s procrastination hack. I’d even bet that getting sidetracked once in awhile will actually keep your productivity high. But getting things done becomes almost impossible if you move on to a different task after returning from a distraction, even if the task you were originally working on is unfinished.
I guess the point is that, in this connected world where distractions come at anytime from anywhere and at any frequency, the ability to focus on only one thing alone becomes even more important. If we can’t even move a project forward every time we decide to do some work, how can we expect to accomplish anything?
How well can you focus on the task at hand? Do you have any techniques you’d like to share? Personally, I only keep the apps I need for a project open, and close everything else.