The Second Way To Avoid Mind Clutter

I’m back this week with Three Ways to Avoid On-line Distraction Part Two. The last two ways to avoid distraction are lessons I learned last year. The year I started marketing myself as a copywriter.

Last year I learned that the sky wouldn’t fall if I missed a free offer. Especially if it didn’t pertain to me. Like a webinar on how to create and market a PPC website. Now I say only give free offers your time if they directly pertain to your business goal!

Some freebies are absolute ‘must-haves’.  I recognized from the headline for this freebie offer from Mac-Forums one day that it would bring added value to my tool shed. It read ‘7 Days of FREE Downloads from GraphicStock’ gives access to their collection of over 250,000 images. This was exciting for me because I had a new website for which I was constantly on the hunt for good quality, low or no cost images.

A second and memorable ‘must-have’ freebie I got from the good people at HubSpot on February 18, 2015. This MakeMyPersona tool enables you to create a buyer persona by answering a series of questions about your ideal customer. Cool, right? This is directly relevant to my goals, so I didn’t hesitate to download it.

So unlike me, I hope you’ll think carefully before clicking. Beyond the offers that you know without a doubt will add value to your arsenal. Keep your eyes and mind on the tasks at hand, the ones that urgently have to be done. And don’t waste time checking out those free offers for tools or content that will not directly assist you in reaching your business goals.

The Third Way To Avoid Mind Clutter

This flows from the second way to avoid mind clutter. It’s a logical conclusion. Just to be clear: Only download tools and content or sign up for a subscription if they can directly aid you in reaching your goal. You might think “I have enough RAM, so why not get it just in case I need it later?” But your hard drive doesn’t need the clutter. If you don’t need and use the item now, you will likely forget about it.

So many of the freebies online quickly seduce us. Problem is that their appeal is of indirect benefit to you. We really need direct benefits. Granted, maybe buried in layers of subtext is a moderately useful piece of information. Not strong support for downloading that freebie.

An example of a free offer that I bypassed recently is ‘Frobee Robots.txt Checker’. “Many robots.txt files contain hidden errors not easily visible to humans. Run your file through this tool and you never know what you’ll discover”. Not to say it isn’t a useful tool for you, but I wouldn’t use it.

On the other hand, GetListed is a free tool I would use if I didn’t have the excellent, my absolute favourite free SEO plugin from Yoast. GetListed, say the good people at Moz, is an awesome SEO tool that scores your local SEO visibility and gives you actionable next steps to raise your score.

Here is an application you can do to help you keep your computer uncluttered. I recommend going to your Downloads file regularly, about once a month, and do a quick scan. Ask yourself if you are going to use all those files you’ve recently downloaded. If not, trash them. To avoid mind clutter, I try to not bring excess data-clutter in to my computer. If I do bring it in, I try to get rid of it as soon as I can.

There you have it. These are the last two of three ways to avoid on-line distraction. Following these guidelines is genuinely allowing me to be more focused. I achieve more in my work day.

How do you deal avoid mind clutter? If you don’t, are you going to give this a shot? I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.