Six years of turking experience
Maximizing Turking Efficiency
After you have gotten into the rhythm of working on Mturk, you will want to work towards making your workflow as efficient as possible. In this guide I will offer some advice on how to do so. Becoming an efficient turker takes time and experience, but implementing some of these strategies will help you speed up that process.
Your first goal should be to organize your work environment in a way as to allow yourself to maximize productivity. On a basic level, this means making sure your workspace is (mostly) clutter free, separated from potential distractions, and relatively comfortable to work at for a prolonged period of time. If you plan on spending a significant amount of time on Mturk, investing in a decent desk or a comfortable office chair may be worthwhile. Once you are satisfied with your workspace, it's time to consider what you will need to further boost your efficiency. Picking up a second (or even a third) monitor is something many turkers find particularly helpful. This allows you to keep scrapers or other Mturk tools on one monitor while you do your work on another. This can really save you from a lot of tab and window switching, and may be the difference between catching that great HIT or being a few seconds too late. Other things to consider are a mouse that allows you to map macros to specific buttons, a decent mechanical keyboard, or a comfortable pair of headphones.
Batches are where the real money is on Mturk, and it's important to know how to best take advantage. Here are some tips:
It can be hard to keep up to date with all things Mechanical Turk on your own. You just can't be staring at the MTurk HIT table all day long. In my getting started guide I recommended joining a MTurk dedicated forum, which is a fantastic start and will help significantly in this regard. If you want to take it to the next level, as a follow up I would recommend joining a turking work group. A work group consists of a group of turkers gathering in a chat room of some sort to share HITs or advice for the benefit of all in the group -- often in real time as HITs are being posted (MTurk is competitive and speed is of the essence). These work groups are not always easy to find and you may need to resort to creating your own. Turking forums are a great place to look for people to join a work group with.