Can’t stop looking through your newsfeed again? We get it. With so much information available to us at our fingertips, it’s hard not to want to keep up to make sure we’re informed at all times. Unfortunately, that slows us down on our work and projects. In fact, every time you pull away from a project to check your phone it takes up to 23 minutes on average to regain your focus - this is why you need to limit those interruptions.
Whatever the case may be, successfully ditching digital distractions can not only lead to a more productive and engaged work environment, but a healthier lifestyle too. Luckily, we have tools and recommendations that can help you stay on track.
1. Plan Breaks for Yourself
This first trick might seem counterintuitive. After all, if you’re wanting to ditch digital distractions, why plan breaks around them? The truth is, scheduling some time to detox from the internet can actually improve your work performance. Our brains are not typically wired to perform tasks for an extended period of time. Studies even suggest that it’s important to take short breaks every 60-90 minutes to recharge and get motivated. This will help you stay focused and make you less likely to get distracted by notifications.
2. Take Advantage of “Do Not Disturb”
Let’s say you’re trying to wrap up some work for a client. You’re almost done, and can’t afford to have any distractions. The “Do Not Disturb” feature is going to be your best friend.
There’s very few options outside of “Do Not Disturb” that will give you the type of peace you need. Do Not Disturb will silence calls, notifications, emails and anything else that could disrupt you. You can also set your own times with this as well, giving you complete control over how long your work schedule and breaks will be.
3. Less-is-More on Social Media
When’s the last time you cleaned out your follow list on social media? More than likely, it’s been a while. Years of following content adds up, which makes your news feed longer each time. Try to only follow accounts that provide relevant or valuable content for you. If an account is no longer posting things that are worthwhile to you, then it’s probably time to cut them out to help shave off scrolling time. This will not only reduce the distractions, but also promote a healthier social media lifestyle. It’s a win-win!
4. Trim Your Tools
Speaking of less-is-more, it’s time to give your work apps a nice overhaul. As a business owner, freelancer, remote employee or agency, there are going to be digital tools you accumulate over time to get various tasks done. However, if you’re not keeping up with what you have, you could end up having several unnecessary apps scattered everywhere that you don’t even need. This is a good opportunity to trim all of the tools you don’t use and organize them into a manageable system.
Desktop.com takes all of the apps on your device and places them into a central hub that you yourself, or your entire team, can work from. Create separate workspaces for projects and message or video chat people, while the single sign-on feature allows you to quickly access all of your tools with a single login. By organizing your apps and getting a better overview of what you should use for what, as well as removing them from your home screen will work wonders for your sense of control and focus.
5. Disable Those Push Notifications
We know, we love seeing those little bubbles that tell us when we got a new like or a comment on a post. However, this can be a huge distraction. When we get these notifications, we typically like to remove the red dot that lets us know we’ve been engaged online. While task switching may only take 1/10th of a second, it can add up to a 40% productivity loss if you do lots of switching in a day. Constantly needing to “clear up” our phone or computer of these interactions cuts into completing tasks on time. A simple solution is to disable these notifications so that you’re not tempted to constantly check each platform to get rid of them, or, as mentioned in section 4 above, remove them from your homescreen and place them in a well-organized space that takes care of it.
Ready to Improve Your Workflow?
Just like any new habit, it’ll take time to adjust to implementing these tips into your schedule. Don’t get discouraged though if you slip up! We’ve all spent longer than we’d like to admit checking our newsfeeds or watching YouTube videos. Just keep pushing and find a pattern that works well with you!