I was away this week for a few days with no access to my work emails.
After the initial panic subsided, I realised how much easier it was to enjoy my time away without having constant distractions.
So often our minds are taken away from the present moment with pings, alerts, and inbounds. Even when we are trying to work, it’s hard to stay focused.
Here are 9 dead-simple tips to resist digital distractions (and you can start right now):
1: Lockdown your familiar haunts.
Work out where you waste time and get rid of your access to these sites.
Maybe you like browsing news websites, or scrolling through Reddit, or watching TikTok videos.
One quick glance at these can suck you into an hour of distractions.
Stop yourself procrastinating by simply blocking your access to time-waster sites.
Apps like Focus or Freedom can help you do this right now.
2: Hold yourself accountable.
When you make your goals clear and hold yourself accountable, changes happen.
We’ve all had big goals at the start of the week only to find by Friday they all fizzled out.
Start by tracking your time to see where you are going wrong and to help motivate you to stay focused.
Toggl is a simple and free way to do this.
You’ll be amazed at how you spend your time.
3: Tackle your email addiction.
Stop spending hours trying to sort your email inbox.
The longer you spend in your inbox, the more email comes in.
This means your task list just gets longer and longer.
And you have no control over it – you are the mercy of anyone sending you an email.
Instead, block out time for email once or twice a day.
At other times – close it down.
4: Eliminate notifications.
Notifications shift our attention.
One split-second glance, and your focus breaks.
It takes time to get your mind back on track to where it was.
This is The Shifting Cost.
A simple glance is never a simple glance. So:
- Turn off all your notifications
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb
Now it’s 10x easier to focus.
5: Leave your phone in another room.
Your phone really doesn’t need to be 2 inches from your hand at any given time.
Try putting it in another room while you work to help you focus.
Simple but effective.
How much time do you spend sifting through spam emails?
Furiously unsubscribe and you’ll save yourself hundreds of future hours of your life.
Check out unroll.me for a quick way to do this.
7: Use one screen, not two.
Two screens on your computer setup lets you see more content at once, but it also encourages more distractions:
- More clutter
- More tabs open
- More programmes running
Stick to one screen. It’ll force you to focus and declutter.
8: Unplug completely.
There’s nothing quite like 24-hour devices free.
I do it once a week.
- No distractions
- Quality family time
- Time to clear your mind and focus
9: Reward yourself for focus.
It may seem silly but we all love a reward.
Set yourself a target and then give yourself a treat when you achieve it.
You deserve it.