I have the attention span of a gnat.
I start putting on makeup and then interrupt to check my emails.
I’m halfway through cooking dinner when I get distracted by a cat video on Youtube.
I begin writing an article when I decide to do a bit more research and before I know it, I’ve fallen into the Facebook black hole.
I’ve always struggled with focus but since I’ve got a smartphone things have gotten way worse. Even a simple 20-minute task can easily turn into a 1-hour long ordeal now. It’s a miracle I get anything done at all.
Does this happen to you, too?
Technology is awesome when it saves us hours of time and hard work, but it’s so easy to get sucked into its dark side.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with several tricks and tools to ditch these digital distractions and turn into a productivity whiz.
I can’t say they work 100% of the time (it takes time to turn from a distracted gnat into a focused wolf), but they’re helping a lot:
1. Turn Off Notifications On Your Phone
This is radical. I wasn’t sure I could do it. What if I miss an urgent email?
In the past month, that has never happened. Not once.
We have this crazy idea that, if we’re not connected 24/7 and don’t reply to an email or a tweet straight away, the sun will fall from the sky, we will get fired or the world will end.
The opposite is true. Checking your phone and social media accounts only when YOU want is so liberating. No more stressing over every email you get. You have a lot more time to do the things that really matter to you, too.
P.S. Don’t fret. If something really serious happens, they will find a way to get a hold of you. News got around fast even before the internet was invented.[clickToTweet tweet=”Checking your phone and social media accounts only when YOU want is so liberating” quote=”Checking your phone and social media accounts only when YOU want is so liberating“]
2. Unfollow Social Media Accounts You Don’t Care About Anymore
I remember when I started using Twitter. I’d follow anyone who followed me back. Don’t judge. Twitter was brand new back then and everyone was doing it.
Maybe you’re smarter than me and would never do that. But you’re hasty in clicking that follow button when you stumble on an account that looks nice and two days later, you’ve already forgotten all about it.
The result is the same. A social media feed full of strangers who demand your attention at every hour of the day and night. And you couldn’t care less about them.
Unfollow them. Set aside 20 minutes and go through all the accounts you’re following. Do you know who the person is and are genuinely interested in hearing more from then? Great! Keep them on.
Haven’t got a clue who that lady is and why she’s bombarding your FB feed with pictures of herself doing yoga on the beach? Click unfollow.
Be ruthless! The more people you cut out of your feed, the more of your time (and life) you gain back.
3. Get Freedom
I always start work with the best of intentions, but somehow I always find myself checking out what my friends are up to on FB, watching silly cat videos on Youtube and keeping up with the latest world news on Twitter.
I have no idea how this happens, I swear.
I can’t rely on my willpower (I’m a gnat, I don’t have any) to steer clear of them, so I’m using the Freedom app instead. This clever tool can block access to any website for any period of time.
Add in your biggest time-wasters (yes, Facebook I’m looking at you), set your “do not be disturbed” time and let the magic happen.
Over to you, now. What are your biggest digital distractions and how do you deal with them?