Emails, chat notifications, social media updates, news pop-ups – our lives have become filled with noise, alerts, and things that continuously demand our attention. Some of these things – such as our family and friends – deserve our utmost attention. Others, such as funny Facebook statuses and Instagram memes, are merely there to distract us from our daily lives.
Science suggests that susceptibility to distractions and the inability to focus stem from psychological discomfort. If you’re unhappy with how easily distracted you are and would like to increase your productivity and concentration, you need to learn to control one key aspect of your life: technology distractions.
Emails and Group Chats
A study from 2016 concluded that smartphone push notifications lead to a decline in task performance and harm cognitive function. These adverse effects are reinforced in people who are already using their smartphones too much.
Different device apps are designed for demanding our attention. We are almost trained to respond to sounds and pings coming from our email inboxes and group chats.
A crucial step to reducing external distractions would be to mute your group chats. If anyone needs you urgently, they can give you a call or text you privately. Group chat conversations are fun and fantastic for keeping in touch with your family and friends, but if you’re busy, you shouldn’t have to reply to them continually.
Ask yourself whether the external trigger – the chat notification – is serving you or if you are serving it. If it is distracting you from meaningful work, then you are serving it.
Emails are a vital aspect of any business. But most emails are not time-sensitive. You will benefit from setting up a schedule for replying to emails. Once you read an email, decide whether you will respond to it today, this week, or delete it. Set up a tag system and tag your incoming emails accordingly.
Additionally, unsubscribe from newsletters and other emails that don’t benefit you in any way. Decrease the number of distractions that are pouring out your devices.
Meetings, Apps, and Social Media
Encourage your coworkers to be concise in your meetings. Ask them to provide an overview or an agenda of the meeting beforehand. Any brainstorming can be done in writing. There should only be one laptop in the meeting room during presentations, for the presenter or for whoever is officially taking notes. All other devices should be silent.
Eliminate apps from your phone that don’t support your values or priorities. It’s best to remove all social media apps from your phone and completely shift to using social media on a desktop or laptop computer. Disable notifications as much as you can. If you receive interesting articles to read, schedule them for a specific time.
Technology distractions are at the top of the list of external triggers that pull our attention away from our life and work. Do whatever is in your power to minimize these triggers. Schedule email response times, mute group chats, remove distracting applications from your phone, and limit social media use. Remember that the goal isn’t for you to persist despite all these distractions, but to not have them in the first place.
Discover the best way to become indistractable at your workplace, as well as how to consistently connect with your leadership team and predictably turn them into highly engaged employees. Call me for some complimentary advice. Book an appointment at https://go.oncehub.com/GregNichvalodoff or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.