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Be More Productive Online With 7 Google Chrome Start Page Extensions

Be More Productive Online With 7 Google Chrome Start Page Extensions

      What’s the first thing you do when you start up your web browser? If you’re like me, you’ll see a number of tabs from the last time you were browsing. Or perhaps a single homepage.  Many of us take the time to customize these options, because we have certain preferences for what we like to see when we first get down to browsing.

      Now let me ask you another question – what do you see when you open a new tab? Many people don’t customize this, and see the default that comes with their browser. The Google Chrome Default New Tab “Speed Dial” Page is nice, and I personally prefer it to having a blank new tab (which was what I had for a long time with Firefox).  However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with it – so I went looking for different options to customize it.

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      In this article, I’ll show you some different extensions to customize your new tab/start page – as well as reveal to you my personal favorite.

      Empty New Tab Page

          • What Does It Do? Replaces your chrome default new tab with a totally blank page.
          • Why Is It Cool? Don’t want everyone to see your speed dial page?  Constantly tempted with your  favorite websites when you’re working? Go back to the good old days of blank tabs.
          • Where Can I Get It? Check it out, Empty New Tab Page.

          New Tab With Google Tasks

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            • What Does It Do? Replaces your chrome default new tab with your Google Tasks.
            • Why Is It Cool? Need regular reminder for what you have to work on?  Check out this extension, and you’ll see your tasks all the time.
            • Where Can I Get It? Check it out here: New Tab To Tasks.

            New Tab With Clock

              • What Does It Do? Replaces your chrome default new tab with a page showing just the time, or the time and the current project you are working on.
              • Why Is It Cool? Never lose track of time mindlessly web browsing again! You’ll constantly be reminded what time it is.
              • Where Can I Get It? Comes in two varieties, the simple one you see above:  New Tab with Clock and New Tab With Clock and Current Project Entry (which includes a text box for a single task or project you are working on).

              New Tab Favorites

                • What does it do? New Tab Favorites replaces the chrome default new tab with a page listing your selection of websites.
                • Why Is It Cool? You can easily manage the list to fit it to your own needs.  You may be able to do this with the regular Google Chrome page, but some may prefer the interface of this extension.
                • Where Can I Get It? Check it out here: New Tab Favorites.

                Fav4 New Tab Page

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                  • What Does It Do? A beautiful, simple new tab that shows large icons for 4 sites that you specify.
                  • Why Is It Cool? Most of us visit the same websites over and over. This provides a simple way to navigate to those common websites, and you can even use keyboard shortcuts (1,2,3,4).  Did I mention it looks great?
                  • Where Can I Get It? Check it out here, Fav4 New Tab Page.

                  Incredible StartPage – Productive Start Page for Chrome

                    • What Does It Do? A beautifully designed, powerful start page featuring your bookmarks, recently closed tabs, and even a little area to leave yourself notes.
                    • Why Is It Cool? Contains the most options of any start page I’ve seen, and looks great to boot. Currently my favorite start page.
                    • Where Can I Get It? Check it out here, Incredible Start Page.

                    Things To Do

                      • What Does It Do? A simple extension that replaces the new tab page with a to do list. Add it and watch your productivity soar!
                      • Why Is It Cool? No fancy graphics or widgets to distract you, this intuitively designed start page helps keep you on task.  This is the start page I used for a long time, to help me keep track of short term tasks as I was browsing/researching.
                      • Where Can I Get It? Check it out here, Things To Do.

                      Customize Your New Tab to Any Page

                      There are a variety of start pages out there, and you may prefer to set your new tab page to something else entirely.  There are a number of different options for that, you can check some of these out to find one you like:

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                      What Do You Think?

                      What are your thoughts? Do you care about what your new tab shows? Any extensions or options you’d like to share?

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                      Last Updated on March 31, 2020

                      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

                      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

                      Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

                      Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

                      There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

                      Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

                      Why We Procrastinate After All?

                      We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

                      Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

                      Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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                      To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

                      If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

                      Is Procrastination Bad?

                      Yes it is.

                      Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

                      Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

                      Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

                      It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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                      The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

                      Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

                      For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

                      A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

                      Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

                      Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

                      How Bad Procrastination Can Be

                      Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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                      After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

                      One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

                      That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

                      Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

                      In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

                      You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

                      More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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                      Procrastination, a Technical Failure

                      Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

                      It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

                      It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

                      Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

                      Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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