In today’s digital age, we are all constantly connected. Need something for work? Send an email. Want to tell a friend you’re thinking about them? Text some emojis. See it’s someone’s birthday? Send them a Happy Birthday on Facebook. Someone’s food pic looks delicious? Double tap the screen.
Communication is at the tip of your fingertips…and in the corner of your eyeballs.
Think about it…how many times a day do you check your phone? How many times does a notification pop up on your desktop? And how many minutes of work are you really getting done with all the popups and side-eye glance at every ping on your phone.
A study from UC Irvine showed that just 20 minutes of interrupted work significantly increased stress levels, frustration, workload, effort, and pressure.
When was the last time you worked completely uninterrupted for 20 minutes?
So do yourself a favor and minimize your distractions with the following tips:
Turn off your desktop notifications.
I had notifications for calendar changes, Facebook, and emails set up on my desktop, and I never even thought twice about taking them off. I just kept annoyingly clearing them off the screen every time they popped up, then getting more and more stressed that I wasn’t getting any good work done.
So here are some instructions to make it easier for you: if you use a Mac (https://support.apple.com/kb/ph18740?locale=en_US), and if you use Windows (http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/disable-app-notifications-windows-10). Apparently Facebook notifications are sometimes provided by Chrome too, so here are instructions for getting rid of those: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-turn-off-google-chrome-desktop-notifications/
Check your phone notification settings, too.
Do you have any apps where the notifications are turned on but they really don’t need to be. For example, Groupon,
What about Snapchat? Facebook?
Gasp…email?? Yes, breathe…then read on.
Set up an automated email message…
Commit to only checking your email at designated times throughout the day (try 9am, 12pm, and 3pm) and set up an automated email message that tells people when you check your emails. Offer them an alternative way, e.g. phone number, to reach you in case of emergency.
And guess what? 9 times out of 10, it’s not an emergency and you won’t get a phone call.
Imagine all the work you can get done knowing that most of the emails you feel so stressed to answer immediately are not even real emergencies!
For one day this week, try turning off your notifications entirely, and pay attention to how your stress levels, productivity and mood improve!
Stress reduction and ways to improve productivity are HUGE topics in my private group coaching program, called "Work Well, Live Well." If you'd like to learn more, please feel free to comment below or private message me!
If your company may be interested in stress management and productivity workshops or private coaching for their employees, please have them visit damonwellness.com.