Do you find yourself addicted to notifications… constantly checking them throughout the day? Facebook… TikTok… emails, Facebook groups… the list goes on.
Sometimes you try to ignore them, but… well, they just keep pinging so you don’t forget them, don’t they?
If this sounds like you, it’s time to take a breather and get back on track with your work (and fun stuff!)
Many of us in the coaching and freelance world get caught up in the constant checking of messages. While it may seem relatively harmless, constantly checking notifications throughout the day can disrupt focus and productivity more than you think. This makes it challenging to complete tasks efficiently and maintain a balanced, less distracted lifestyle.
Not only can it disconnect us from our clients and our creative flow, it can also lead to increased stress and decreased well-being due to the constant mental switching between tasks.
Perhaps you’ve tried to pay less attention to your notifications but find it too hard. If so, you’re not alone!
So here are five tips customised just for you, to help you regain your peace of mind and reconnect with your clients and projects, all while shaking off the digital distractions:
1. Create a Clear Schedule
Let’s start by making a schedule that makes sense for you. Set aside specific times for checking emails and scrolling through social media. Begin with short slots, like fifteen or thirty minutes, for these online tasks.
As you get better at managing your online impulses, gradually extend these slots to every 45 minutes, and then to an hourly routine.
Here’s a handy trick: use a timer for quick five-minute sessions to handle your most important messages. If your inbox is overflowing, give yourself an extra ten to fifteen minutes to send thoughtful responses.
It’s also a good idea to chat with your clients and colleagues, giving them a heads-up that your response times might slow down a bit. This way, they’ll understand, and you can focus better on your work.
2. Stop Those Annoying Notifications
Remember, you’re the boss of your phone, not the other way around. Take control by turning off as many notifications as you can. Don’t forget to silence email and calendar alerts too. If you’ve picked specific times for checking emails, you don’t need those pings distracting you.
Receiving alerts every time you receive some sort of update, notification or message is the easiest way to become addicted to notifications. So turning these alerts off is also one of the easiest ways to reverse your obsession.
3. Clean Up Your App Collection
A lot of our phone habits happen without us even thinking about it. We go from one app to another, checking messages, weather, texts, and then diving into games or the latest news, all on autopilot. To get back in control, think about trimming down your apps. Say goodbye to those time-sucking social media apps and stick to using your phone’s web browser instead. This will help you resist the urge to keep scrolling long after you intended to stop.
4. Move Your Phone Out of the Bedroom
Don’t let your phone be the first and last thing you see each day. Swap it out for an old-school alarm clock to wake you up in the morning, if necessary. Or at least move it to another room and turn off all notifications during your set ‘sleep’ hours. That way you can still hear your alarm when it goes off in the morning, but will be less attracted to checking it while you’re in bed.
By keeping your phone in a different room, you’ll create a peaceful space for better sleep, without the temptation to check it.
5. Get Yourself a Smart Speaker
A smart speaker can be a game-changer. Connect it to your network using Bluetooth, and you won’t need your phone as much. You can use it to play podcasts or music by just talking to it. This way, you can fully focus on your coaching or freelancing work without getting distracted by your phone and its never-ending notifications.
As you distance yourself from your phone’s constant grasp, and possibly your computer, tablet or other devices, you’ll notice your productivity going up.
These five steps are just the start of your journey to being less glued to your tech, but they’re an easy place to begin.
Embrace this path and you might find that your work life becomes more fulfilling, without the constant pull of your phone and its pesky notifications.
Who knows… once you start completing your work quicker, what other activities can you spend precious time on?