Planning makes the difference!
I have been playing chess online for quite sometime now. With that period of time, I found out two phases of planning as key factors in quality play and eventually successfully winning a game online, I mean live play online. The first phase is planning to play a game. If you think you cannot devote at least 30 minutes or so, or can't foresee you have at least 30 minutes to play, don't ever start a game. Emergencies, your wife or husband calls you to help out, you need to to buy something, you have a meeting, it's already late you need to sleep, you need to pick up a daughter or son, etc. are intervening factors that force you to lose a game. Aside from the fact that you can't concentrate or focus playing because you are pressured to do a task, time will force you to leave the game. You either ask for a draw, abandon the game, or resign thus losing a chance to win or play a quality game.
The second phase is when you have the time to play, you need to plan your play. Planning your moves for at least 5 to 6 moves, will guarantee a quality and winning game. Planning gives you a better chance. If you do have a plan, work out your plan! Okay?
I think these are practical tips for an effective, efficient, and quality play.