I want to tell you something that seems quite obvious, but is not utilised by enough people. If you want to double your focus do this one thing now…
Turn off your notifications.
You wouldn’t think something this simple would do so much for you, but believe me it does. I see some people’s phones lighting up every few seconds with notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it. This is insanity to me. Go into your phone settings, go into notifications and turn almost everything off that isn’t necessary. The only notifications I leave on are my text messages, and work related apps like email, calendar, slack etc.
Another awesome part of the iPhone is the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature that you can access by swiping up from the bottom of your screen. I’ve never had an Android so I don’t know what the feature is called, but this is incredibly effective. If you’re doing something important that requires focus, I recommend having do not disturb on for the entirety of it. Let me tell you why:
It takes your brain 18 - 20 minutes to get into ‘The Zone’. The Zone is when you are working effortlessly, your creativity is flowing, you’re just smashing it. I often talk about how important momentum is, and The Zone is SO effective (read my article about momentum here). Now this all sounds great, but here’s the thing…
If you are interrupted, you go back to zero. It takes you another 18 - 20 minutes to get back into the zone! This means that EVERY TIME your phone goes off, it’s taking you out of that state of mind and crippling your effectiveness. Only use your phone when you have to, and realistically, you really don’t need it that often. I heard an interesting theory about how working from home can be better than working in an office with other people, because at work you can frequently be interrupted by coworkers. Even if your boss is telling you to do something, they’re still interrupting your work. At home, any ‘interruptions’ are voluntary, and more often than not, it’s your phone.
Want to know the best thing? You won’t even notice! People think if they turn notifications off they’ll go crazy with the thought of ‘missing out’ on things, but you forget about that in an instant when you’re focusing on what’s important. You honestly don’t even realise. For those social media fiends, think of it this way, just think of all those juicy notifications stacked up on top of each other when you check it later. Although instead of checking it every few minutes, you check it all at once and you work much better.
Don’t get me wrong, phones are a wonderful piece of technology, I cant’ imagine what I would do without it, but don’t let it ruin your productivity. Turn your notifications off, and when you’re doing something important put do not disturb on so even messages and phone calls aren’t coming through. Easy!
Twitter & Snapchat: mitchills