Sometimes, even on my best days, I just need a little encouragement at work. Other times, I could use a big kick in the butt to get stuff done. With that said, I can’t always rely on a co-worker or my boss to hold me accountable and be my cheerleader.
Luckily, I can get plenty of inspiration and motivation right from my computer—and just by opening a new tab in my browser. And you can too, if you add one of these extensions to your internet homepage. (Who needs a personal trainer or life coach?)
1. To Stay on Track With Your Goals: Don’t Break the Chain
Don’t Break the Chain is a deceptively simple online tool made famous in the ’90s sitcom Seinfeld. All you do is choose the goal you want to track and then mark an X on the calendar every day you achieve it. The trick is that, once you see a few days in a row marked off, your brain will want you to continue “the chain.”
2. To Get the Best Tech Tips and Tricks: labnol
If you don’t already know Digital Inspiration, I promise you’ll be glad you found it now. This website’s been around forever in internet time (since 2004) and is one of the most popular how-to blogs all about software tools. And, with the labnol (Digital Inspiration’s easily-searchable nickname for itself) extension, you can quickly find exactly the tutorial you need from their massive database of amazingly clever and useful guides and articles.
3. To Complete All Your To-Dos: Strict Workflow
Even if you’re a master at making to-do lists, it’s not always easy to get it all done. Strict Workflow helps you stay on track by encouraging—or, if you set it this way, forcing—you to focus. Just click to start a 25-minute timer and then get to work. At the end of the time, you’ll get a five-minute break. And, if you need something more “strict,” you can block yourself from distracting sites during your work period.
Based on the famous Pomodoro technique, this is proven to work.
4. To Take Care of Yourself: Save My Eyes
I bet that you spend a good part of your work day (and maybe your free time, too) in front of your computer. While it might not feel physically demanding, it can take its toll. Save My Eyes protects your vision and your body by reminding you to take regular breaks. This is your chance to either just rest your eyes or get up and exercise. Whatever you choose, you’ll come back feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to be productive again.
5. To Remember What’s Important: Dayboard
In a nutshell, Dayboard replaces your new tab page with your to-do list—but what I love about it is that it only lets you list five tasks. So, you’ll always remember your top priorities. It also shows you all the tasks you’ve done during the last two weeks for an extra boost of confidence.
6. To Be More Generous: Helpfreely App
It’s OK to admit it—we all love to shop online. But did you know that doing it can also raise money for charity? When you have the Helpfreely extension and you look for a product in your search engine of choice, the extension will show you how much of your purchase is being donated to charity, and it won’t cost you or the organization a thing.
7. To Make Your Own Motivation: Reminders of Inspiration
Sometimes, basic is best. This simple extension lets you add either a quote or an image to be shown in every new tab. So, you can put that quote that always lifts you up, the lyrics to your personal “fight song,” or maybe a picture of that gorgeous little Italian village you’re planning to visit when you finally save up enough. I’m all about customization like this as a way to motivate yourself. After all, who knows better what moves you than you?
8. To Get Your Visual Fix: Pinterest
Who isn’t inspired by gorgeous photos? Now, you can use the Pinterest Chrome extension to be awestruck every time you open a new tab. Choose the category you’re interested in (like photography, food, or fashion), and Pinterest will serve you up the best pins in that topic. Plus, you’ll still see your own calendar in the tab so you don’t get too off track for the day.
9. To Have Some (Feline) Fun: Tabby Cat
With all these extensions to make you work better or be better, you might be ready for something a little lighter. How about a “new cat for every new tab”? Tabby Cat will show you a cute cartoon kitty whenever you open a new page. They’re adorably animated, and they leave you little gifts. Plus, they have the best names (like Grand Bubbles or Tricky Wrinkle), and there’s a built-in “camera” for photographing your favorites. This might be just the lightheartedness you need to get through the day.
10. To Master Your Career: MuseNews
Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re no stranger to The Muse. With The Muse extension, you’ll get new articles, jobs, and companies to browse every time you open a new tab. Job searching has never been easier!
Who knew getting a nice dose of motivation was just one click away? (Or, several, if you’re a master of tabs.) Download these extensions to your browser, and surfing the web will be the most productive thing you do all day.