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Clearly: Removing the Pull of Massive Web Surfing Distractions

Ever find an interesting article on a website and then look up half an hour later to find yourself at some completely different site six clicks from where you started?

02-27 Signs of Spring
The Welcome Distraction of Spring

Many websites have helpful (or distracting, depending) links to related or otherwise interesting articles in easy view. If you have unlimited time to read, then that’s no problem.

Of course, there’s a time and place for surfing for fun, and it can even serve as a useful break that restores productivity after time spent on tedious tasks. The thing is to do it on purpose.

Let’s say you’ve decided to limit arbitrary web wandering to times when you are taking intentional breaks. Cutting down on “Oh, let me see what that’s about” clicks (clicks for no real reason) is one way to recover time that many people sometimes lose to “cyberloafing.”

To counteract the distractions offered above, below, or off to the side of a useful article, consider Clearly. It’s an extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

With Clearly, you can remove the temptation to click on links to articles you don’t really need to be reading right now.

Also, you’ll have the benefit of reducing visual “noise,” which contributes (in a bad way) to cognitive load. With a cleaner page, you can concentrate more easily on obtaining the information you wanted to find in the first place.

Here’s an example of an article about cyberloafing—with and without Clearly:

02-27 Article without Clearly
Article with Potentially Distracting Headlines

02-27 Article with Clearly
The Same Article Viewed via Clearly

With Clearly, all you do is click on the extension icon in your browser on any given page, and it removes everything but the main article. It’s a great way to reduce clutter and temptation at the same time.

In my frequent search for ways to be more productive, I’m glad to remember Clearly.


There’s No Shame in Cyberloafing

Study: Workers Spend 60% of More of Day Web Surfing for Personal Reasons

Extension | Clearly for Chrome

Extension | Clearly for Firefox

Extension | Clearly for Opera

Disclosure: Some links on this site are “affiliate links,” which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something.