We recently saw Ben through his first block of exams as a senior high school student and it really made me see the distractions that he has that I didn't have when I was in my final years of school. If someone wanted to contact me they had to call on the landline or knock on the door but for Ben there were constant attempts of contact through text messaging, phone calls, social media and so on. While we did our best to encourage him to limit his distractions it really is something that comes with practice, rather than flipping a switch. At times you simply need to make yourself ignore the distractions as its not always possible to disconnect completely. However I have found a few ways that help me limit my own distractions so I can get my work done faster and therefore free up my time which I thought I'd share with you.
- DO NOT DISTURB Its important to set your boundaries between your work and personal life and now from 8pm to 8am every day, my phone goes into Do Not Disturb mode. I used to get nervous twitches just waiting for the next 'ding' or flash on my phone to tell me I had an email or something happened on Facebook but now, if its out of sight, it really is out of mind.
- SOCIAL MEDIA NOTIFICATIONS It took me a while to get this extremely simple distraction out of my life, but I now don't receive any flash up notifications on my phone from social media. Whether someone likes a post on Facebook or mentions me on Twitter or comments on an Instagram post, I don't receive a notification and subsequent flash on my phone. Instead I set aside a couple of times a day to check social media and see the notifications within the app. Its amazing how something so simple can be so effective.
- PRE-SCHEDULE SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES Not all social media is a time waster. A great feature with most blogging platforms is that they will allow you to schedule a blog post for a future time and Facebook pages also allow you to schedule a post in advance as well. There are many times when I will prewrite a blog post and schedule it for the time I want it published and then schedule a Facebook update in relation to the blog post for the same day. The entire day can be prewritten with regular updates without me visiting Facebook once. Its super simple to do and my Twitter platform, Hootsuite also allows me to schedule updates in advance. Pre-schedule where you can for your blog, facebook and Twitter so you free up your time.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you limit the distractions that have crept into our lives through technology and let you get your work done faster and more efficiently to help you get back to your life.
Have a great week!