Today we live in the technology era. We have a personal computer in our pocket, and many of us wrap similar technology around our wrists. These devices give endless possibilities, however, they also have a major downside: we are under constant pressure and open to distractions all day, every day. Our focus and productivity suffer while our stress (cortisal and dopamine levels) increase to unhealthy levels.
We house our favorite platforms on our devices: Outlook, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. At the same time, (without really thinking) we give these platforms permission to send us notifications (vibrations/sounds/messages) whenever they like. The result is that our days and focus are controlled by the technology we use. Instead of taking advantage of technology, our technology takes advantage of us.
The 3 productivity hacks
If you want to live more healthy and at peace, while simultaneously achieving more you need to take back control over your attention. Below I’ve summed up 3 productivity hacks I’ve implemented to take control of the technology I use.
#1 Shut off all notifications on devices.
A notification is enough distraction for you to lose focus and cause stress. This research has shown that it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back into a task or activity after being distracted.
You have to completely shift your thinking, it takes you a while to get into it and it takes you a while to get back and remember where you were…We found about 82 percent of all interrupted work is resumed on the same day. But here’s the bad news — it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.
So the first hack we need to implement is shut off all the notifications. This will result in YOU choosing when to check the incoming messages, not the other way around. Most of the devices have an option of switching notifications on and off. So what are you waiting for…?!
#2 Don’t check your incoming messages until noon
This hack comes down to blocking your time in pro-active (you’re in control of your time) and re-active hours (others control your time). In the morning you work on the most important tasks that YOU need to do (pro-active state). And in the afternoon you go into a (more) reactive state where you focus on the requests you get from others. You will be more in control, get more done an feel better throughout the day.
#3 Process your messages only 3 times per day
If you implement hack #1 and #2 it’s now important that you limit the frequency in which you check your messages. Start by checking them only 3 times a day and process the messages all at once. By checking your messages at set times (12:00 16:00 and 20:00 hours) you will be more efficient and create more structure.
You might find these hacks difficult because of the ‘belief’ that you need to respond fast. Possibly your company has a working environment that expects you to be online 24/7. Companies that have a culture of ‘always online’ and ‘always available’ are simultaneously creating a culture of ‘more stress’ and ‘less results’. You SHOULD NOT be checking your mail the whole day, you SHOULD be doing things THAT MATTER. I believe that someone (be it a friend or colleague) who urgently needs to talk to you will call or meet you face-to-face. Texts and e-mails are not urgent enough!
Life is to short to waste time, so implement these three productivity hacks today and get back in the driver’s seat!
I guarantee you that you will get more done, while simultaneously feeling more relaxed and at ease!
Do you want to get more out of your day? For years I’ve been studying and researching ways to optimize my life and be more productive. I’ve followed courses, researched people, read 100s books on the subject and tested a lot! With all this information I’ve created a productivity system (life mastery system) that will help you take back control of your life. Do you want to learn more about this system? Let’s get in touch!