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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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                      How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                      How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                      Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. Bu unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

                      For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

                      Stay motivated even without motivation tricks

                      The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

                      Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

                      • Passion – Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.
                      • Habits – You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day. Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.
                      • Flow – Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part. Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

                      13 Simple ways to motivate yourself

                      Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started:

                      1. Go back to “why”

                      Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

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                      If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

                      2. Go for five

                      Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

                      3. Move around

                      Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

                      4. Find the next step

                      If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

                      Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable.

                      5. Find your itch

                      What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

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                      Are you unmotivated because you’re tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

                      6. Deconstruct your fears

                      I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

                      Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

                      7. Get a partner

                      Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

                      8. Kickstart your day

                      Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

                      Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

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                      9. Read books

                      Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

                      Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

                      10. Get the right tools

                      Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

                      Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

                      11. Be careful with the small problems

                      The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

                      Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

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                      12. Develop a mantra

                      Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

                      If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

                      13. Build on Success

                      Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

                      There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

                      With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated. Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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