Have you been feeling the need to conduct some digital decluttering? There is no time like the present to seek advice to become focused on what you should prioritize, rather than what you are distracted by.
Are you shocked when your provider informs you, your time spent online went up by 40% and you have little to show for it?
It is no secret we live in a digital age where most of our interactions and at times, our daily tasks require us to log on to perform various duties. BUT the big question is, are you getting sidetracked and losing momentum to accomplish the tasks to move the needle … to max out your life.
Many women need to break the habit of checking their notifications or social media posts all throughout the day, you are missing out on life as it happens. Not to mention how these interruptions can hinder your ability to focus and accomplish tasks.
When was the last time you did not go on social media while at work or when you sent a handwritten note to express your appreciation?
If you carefully apply the following steps, you will find yourself more relaxed, present, and albeit more productive, simply because you are breaking free from the electronic rat race. It will allow your brain to focus on the task at hand.
Now, I am not saying technology is our enemy … nope … it does play a huge part in our daily lives … come on now, we all agree there is a great demand for online platforms and technological advancement.
So, despite our progress, you must admit, there is nothing worse than getting a whole lot of nothing done because you tapped into too many things at once or got sidetracked by Pinterest or Instagram.
Reflect upon the number of days where you have wasted time repeatedly swiping up only to get bogged down with work, missing out on quality time with family members or friends, and in the end, suffering from painful eye strain or worse, a debilitating migraine due to significant screen time.
And, you know as much as the next gal, there is nothing more disheartening than attempting to interact with someone who is ‘half’ engaged because despite being in your presence, they are halfheartedly listening to you, while they ‘research’ the latest deets on metallic lashes.
How to Declutter Digitally & Max Out!
- Stick to a schedule.
To wean yourself from the habit of checking your computer or phone so often, make a schedule.
Start with 15 – or 30 – minute increments for checking your email and social media. Once you become better at not getting sucked into time-wasting activities, increase the increment to every 45-minutes, then move up to every hour.
In addition, set a timer to check and respond to the most important things. If your inbox is full, allot 15 – minutes to respond to anything that requires your input. When the timer goes off, you exit out of your email and return to your specified task.
It is also a good idea to inform your family members, friends, and colleagues you have implemented a more efficient system, and therefore, you will be answering calls and replying to messages during the workweek at scheduled times throughout the day.
- Be sure to turn off push notifications whenever possible.
You will not get ahead if you are constantly bombarded with interruptions from your social media platforms or with messages from your favorite online podcast showcasing its latest content.
You can greatly reduce various distractions by disabling as many push notifications as possible.
Go one step further by turning off both your email and calendar notifications.
If you are on a schedule for checking email, then notifications are unnecessary.
Make it part of your ‘wrap up session’, to take note of what tomorrow brings. Log into your calendar and prep for upcoming events and create reminders on your phone if you are to actively participate in a meeting or conduct a scheduled call etc.
- Remove distracting apps.
Much of your phone usage comes from unconscious habit.
Without much thought, you may dance around each platform, then productively procrastinate by checking the weather, skimming emails before playing a mindless game of candy crush, or perusing a blog you love.
Before you know it, a good 20 minutes or more has been wasted.
So, if you were the boss, would you hire you?
Be the star employee that accomplishes a job well done in record time. Become the business owner that over-delivers in a timely manner or be the mom, partner, or best friend that is present and open to heartfelt moments. Avoid developing a bad rap and losing out on quality time with loved ones or a customer’s loyalty.
For those of you who use a company phone or laptop – keep in mind your usage can be tracked by your employer. Women who run their own business … make the most of your time on your own dollar!
If you are having extreme difficulty pulling away from apps, you can delete social media apps. Believe it or not, you can use the web browser on your phone or laptop to log in and engage. This act alone will make you think twice – hmmm … should I work through the report that is due today at 3 p.m. or go on Insta?
By accepting a new login ‘socialite status’, you will not only reduce the time you spend on technology unnecessarily, but it will ultimately, enable you to address the most pressing of tasks rather than become swallowed up in the online abyss.
- Keep your device out of the bedroom.
There is a lot to be said about what should go on in the bedroom …
Your phone does not have to be the last thing you touch before you rest your head at night and certainly not the first thing you embrace in the morning.
In fact, if you are looking to ‘up your game’, you should know high performers are more apt to exercise, meditate, capture their gratitude, and set out clear intentions prior to engaging online or logging in each morning. Many successful people report these routines have enabled them to focus, embrace a healthy regimen, be more productive, and overall, support a positive outlook to max out their life.
Try to adopt new success habits to plan out your day and if you wish, schedule times to engage on social media and return calls or emails while you replace ‘mindless tasks’ with more productive ones.
To avoid the trap of looking at your phone late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, try using an old-school alarm clock beside your bed instead of your phone. A more drastic but highly effective step is to utilize a charging station in another room. You will not be tempted to check the time or scan the web when you should be recharging yourself or connecting with your loved one!
- Use a smart speaker.
A smart speaker is valuable because it helps you live a life away from temptation … aka the screen. When you have a smart speaker attached to your network via Bluetooth technology, this will prevent you from having to use your phone to turn on podcasts or music; instead, just announce your choice to the smart speaker and go about your day, listening and learning instead of being sucked into the endless distractions on your phone.
The longer your phone is out of your hands, the more productive you will become, and these tips are just the beginning of a higher level of productivity, accomplishment, increased mental wellbeing, and quality engagement.
You may even discover that your days feel longer because you are no longer distracted by your phone or notifications.
Cheers to recharging, living a more blissful life, and moving the needle!