It seems as though there are more and more distractions competing for our attention daily, most of which come from technology. With so much to do in a day, it can feel as if some tasks take us more time than necessary and we aren’t always sure why. Chances are there is a distraction, likely via technology, which consumes our brainpower and causes us to be less effective and connected to what we really care about. Our contributor, Brittany Viklund, is here with some ways to limit those things so you can make each day count!
Turn Off Social Media Notifications
I have never had any social media notifications activated on my phone, and while I am still constantly distracted by those apps, I am more in control of when those interactions happen. Even if we don’t physically respond to a “ping” from our mobile devices, our brains react and that impacts our train of thought. Take 60 seconds and adjust this notification, you will likely see an immediate impact.
Turn Off Email Notifications
This is similar to social media notifications, but email notifications can bombard us at our computers. My train of thought while at my computer has been disrupted time and time again simply by that little pop up from my email. Designate a specific time to check your emails and give your undivided attention to your brainpower when working at a different task at your computer.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
As a work-from-home mom, there are times in my day where my goal is to be 100 percent present with my children. As a parent of the modern era, however, I love to have my phone at reach for taking snapshots of my children’s daily musings. I often close my phone out directly from Instagram and will find myself reaching for my phone to take a picture only to end up opening the Instagram app upon unlocking my phone and ending up down the unintentional rabbit hole. When I am trying to be completely present with life in front of me, I like to put my phone on airplane mode—this allows me to still utilize the camera functions, but any other distractions will be limited.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is specifically useful for a focused task or workflow. Often when I seek out distractions, it’s the result of a lull in something I am working on or doing. When I give myself working parameters and times to engage in distractions, then I am able to be much more efficient with my time. The Pomodoro Technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes with a five-minute break. You can repeat the intervals as necessary and there are even apps you can download that make it easy to follow this technique.
Put Your Phone in the Backseat
You could do this both literally and metaphorically, but for now we’ll focus on the literal action. Obviously, those handheld devices with the world at our fingertips are a huge source of distraction, especially when we are behind the wheel. I found that the habit of placing my purse or bag, with my phone in it, in the backseat was a simple yet effective move to keep my greatest distraction out of sight and out of mind while driving. There are even settings on your phone that you can utilize if you want to take it one step further, but for me, physically placing it out of range is all I need.
No Phone Zone
I have found myself sitting in bed scrolling without even intentionally wanting to, so I moved my phone charger from my bedside table to the living room. Now when I go to bed, my phone does not join me. I’ve found more time to read, journal or catch extra Zzzs without my phone by my side. We do this at meals as well by piling up phones in the middle of the table when out to eat with friends. Physical boundaries can help us out when our brain is conditioned to reach for distractions.
Brittany is a lover of routines, books, simple joys and anything creative. With a degree in marketing and advertising, she worked in early childhood education for 7 years before pursuing her creative work full-time as an illustrator, blogger, photographer and becoming a mother.
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