Cutting Out Digital Distractions

Ryan Schirmer

The information age we live in is fantastic; need to look up the closest restaurant: Google it. Need to get instructions on how to do anything; Look it up on YouTube. Want to know what your Friends & Family are up to; Facebook them. However, with all this excellent information at our fingertips 24/7 365, when its time to buckle down and get some work done, the temptation is always lingering to drag us away from work to check a message, to check emails, to watch videos that have nothing to do with what you’re actually doing.

When interrupted or distracted by phones, emails or everything else, we not only lose the time that we are reading or watching the distraction, but it also takes more time as you realise you’ve been distracted, shake your head and say to yourself, ‘Wait, what was I doing again?’ and try to refocus on your task.

The following are some handy tips to help you remove some of these distractions and be a bit more productive with your time:

  • Take control of your notification: Like most people, every time my phone pings or a pop up is on my computer, the temptation to see what it is more often than not wins, and usually, all it is, is a notification to say an app. needs updating or something else that isn’t very important. By cleaning up notification setting on these apps, reduces the number of times your device will ping, therefore reducing the time you’ll look at it, meaning you can stay focused for longer.
  • Set timed breaks to be unproductive: If you stay focused on a task for hours and hours, the likely result is you’ll burn out your mind, lose focus, and will end up unproductive. A good idea to avoid this is to schedule timed breaks to slow your brain down, check a couple of emails, look at social media, etc. The trick is to set time limits for these breaks so you don’t get sucked in and not get back into what you need to do.
  • Controlled Digital Black Out: This one is a go-to if I really need to get something done. Phone either get turned off or put on silent & put in a draw, emails & other apps are logged out and closed. Removing all forms of digital distractions from view can significantly increase productivity.

We’re all human, and our mind will tend to wander, so hopefully, these tips can help limit digital distractions from taking up your valuable time.