On Thought Provoking Tuesday I challenged you to unplug for an evening. I heard from so many people how liberating it felt to detach themselves from their digital devices.
Why then do we consistently tap our fingers on tiny screens day in and day out when it feels so good when we don’t?
Today I’m going to focus on finding (or reclaiming for some) a balance between our techno-obsessions and well, for lack of a better term, life.
Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware how beneficial all of these digital tools can be. And, let’s be honest, they can also lead to distractions that just get in the way of our work.
Raise your hand if you find yourself posting, emailing, tweeting or browsing social media feeds CONSTANTLY!
Don’t worry you’re not alone and that includes yours truly. This is something I struggle with as well and I’m determined to change that! To help, I’ve come up with a few tips and guidelines to help break free of the digital distractions and reclaim productivity!
#1: Start With a Clean Slate
Waking up to your cell phone’s alarm clock is just asking for trouble. It’s sending your brain the message, “I NEED this device.” Holding your phone first thing in the morning usually leads to doing more than just turning off the alarm and there’s no need for checking email at 5 or 6am.
Plus think about it… if the last thing you do before laying your head on that pillow is setting your phone alarm clock, a glowing screen is the final image in your brain before sleep. By now we all know researchers will tell us just how awful that is. So try this:
- Turn your phone off at least one hour before going to bed
- Buy a regular alarm clock
- Keep cell phones OUT of your bedroom
#2: Multitask Less
You may think you’re saving time while shooting out an email or trolling your Facebook feed during a phone call and you’d be wrong. New research found that using two or more technologies at once can actually cause each task to take 25% longer (on average). Seriously, you’re not surprised are you? Think about a computer, if you have a bunch of tabs open, eventually it starts slowing down too. Your brain is not different.
Not to mention, splitting your focus can lead to more mistakes too and sometimes you can’t go back and edit those typos!
#3: Save Your Cash
Step away from the tablets. You already have an iPhone or Android phone that can do pretty much everything a computer can so why would you need an iPad or tablet as well? Keep the money in your wallet and prevent yourself from digital overload by sticking to one device.
And if you feel so compelled, buy a spiral-bound notebook for a buck to do your note taking, journaling, action planning and doodling. It’s cheaper and far less distracting.
#4: Be Social… In the Flesh
Instead of checking out what your friends are doing on Facebook, pick up the phone and call them. Make plans to meet up in person and actually BE social!
This also applies to emails. Instead of spending time crafting a grammatically correct, spelling-error free email, make a phone call. It’s more personable AND it helps to manage people’s expectations. With emails, people many times expect rapid responses. By meeting in person, chatting on the phone or even talking through Skype you help discourage an onslaught of emails. And you know what that means… you get MORE accomplished during the day with less emails to read!
#5: Hide and Seek
While trying to complete a project get your phone out of your sight. Put it in another room, place it inside a cabinet or drawer, wherever is far enough that you can’t easily be distracted and grab it on a whim.
In the car? Put it in the back seat, or better yet the trunk if you don’t fully trust yourself just yet!
#6: Meals are For Eating Not Texting
This one seems like common sense and really our technology driven culture has made it almost ok to keep our phones at the dinner table. This not only sends a bad message to our youth, it prevents us from having human interaction (and encourages bad manners)!
We should be sharing the details of our day over dinner or chatting about where to go on vacation. NOT scrolling endlessly through emails and notifications on our phones.
#7: Get Off The Clock
Studies consistently prove that being “on” or “plugged in” all the time leads to diminished productivity and mental fatigue! Be in the moment, if you are at work, you’re at work, if you’re with your family, BE with your family. Give your brain a rest and when you leave work, actually leave work. If you’re always on the clock the chances of burning out are higher for you.
The world will not implode if you don’t answer an email tonight. More importantly, I’m sure you’re loved ones would love to see your beautiful face sans the glow of a screen!
Put a few of these tips to good use and you’ll soon discover regular sessions of “unplugging” can lead to a clearer mind and turn you into a productivity machine.
I want to hear from you now. Comment below about your own experience with digital detachment. Let me know the good, the bad and the ugly! You never know what another person could learn from you.
To Your Continued and Ever-Growing Success,
PS – If you’re interested in strategizing one-on-one on ways to grow your business, apply for a complimentary strategy call TODAY at: www.DanaEarhartLitif.com/StrategyCall