While digital devices are a boon in many ways, they can also be a source of never-ending distractions. Push notifications and other alerts are designed to catch your attention. Plus, many apps use features designed to keep you coming back, drawing you in far longer than you may plan.
As a result, many digital devices can hinder your productivity. If you want to eliminate digital distractions so that you can focus on your work tasks, here are five tips that can help.
1. Turn on Do Not Disturb
Do not disturb is a powerful tool that helps you eliminate bothersome notifications during periods when you need to focus while still being reachable in an emergency. For example, you can silence social media alerts or email notifications while allowing phone calls from a child’s school to ring. In most cases, you can pick and choose what apps and contacts are temporarily silenced and which aren’t, making it fully customizable.
Plus, do not disturb has auto-on and auto-off features. As a result, you can have it turn on right before you start your commute and switch it off once you’re home. Since it happens automatically, it isn’t an inconvenience, but it will prevent unwanted notifications from harming your productivity.
2. Update Your Status
Many online tools like collaboration software allow users to adjust their availability or status to signal to others whether they’re reachable during a particular time. By using that feature, you can show your colleagues that you’re currently occupied with heads-down work. As a result, they’ll know that you’re working but also that you aren’t available for a call, meeting, or brainstorming session, reducing the odds that they’ll accidentally distract you.
3. Try a Blocking App
There are several productivity apps that block out distractions across all of your devices with the flip of a switch. You can create a blocklist, outlining apps that typically pull you away from work. Then, you can initiate a session, and once it’s underway, all of your blocked apps and websites are inaccessible through all of your connected devices until the session ends.
Some blocking apps also take advantage of strategies like the Pomodoro technique, while others are more general. However, if resisting is too challenging in some cases, these solutions could be your perfect answer.
4. Separate Personal from Work
In some cases, professionals justify social media use during the workday because there is a work-related benefit. For example, they may follow relevant news outlets, professional organizations, or thought leaders, all of which can provide valuable information.
However, since these beneficial profiles you’re following are comingled with personal ones that don’t have work-related value, it’s easy to get distracted by the rest. As a result, if you legitimately need social media for a work purpose, have separate personal and professional accounts to prevent that from happening.
5. Have Designated Device Time
Finally, make sure that you designate time in your day to enjoy the best of what your digital device has to offer. By having defined periods where you can freely browse, you reduce the odds of feeling deprived or disconnected. However, it also sets limits, ensuring you aren’t grabbing your phone when you should be working.
Precisely when you schedule these times should depend on your normal rhythm. If you’re typically highly productive in the morning, don’t use that period for device time. Instead, choose a time when your productivity is usually dwindling, giving yourself 10 minutes during that period for uninhibited scrolling.
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