The world is strange right now. Being disconnected from our normal lives, we rely so heavily on digital tools to get us through the day. Think about it: we learn online, work online, and socialize online. We get our news from screens, read books on screens, and binge watch entertainment on screens. There’s no wonder that people are becoming addicted to technology.
When you’re working or studying, how many times do you think you reach for your phone an hour? Once? Ten times? More? A new U.S. survey found that society’s digital distraction epidemic is deeply impacting our ability to focus and accomplish tasks at work and in our personal lives. The Branded Research Inc.-conducted survey found 75 percent of people admit that digital notifications lead to procrastination and decreased focus, and that individuals waste nearly an entire eight-hour work days’ worth of time checking notifications every week.
EIGHT HOURS A WEEK CHECKING NOTIFICATIONS! That’s just crazy.
If you’re finding it hard to get to work and focus on the screens that you need to focus on without distraction, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five ways to help you ditch the digital distractions and get down to work.
1. Put your phone in a drawer
This may sound extreme but sometimes you just need to take a break. If your phone is beside you blinking and buzzing, of course you’re going to want to pick it up and know what’s going on. Giving yourself some physical distance may be just the trick you need to break the cycle of dependence.
If the drawer is too extreme try flipping it over on silent so you don’t see the screen light up, or utilizing ‘silent’ or ‘do-not-disturb’ mode. If you’re worried about emergencies you can turn off all notifications except the ringer just like an old school phone would have been (the kind with the cord attached to the wall).
2. Schedule time to catch up
It may be easier for you to keep that phone in the drawer and stop reaching for it all the time if you designate specific times a day to check your messages / notifications. Perhaps you allow yourself 30 minutes in the morning while you drink your coffee, 30 minutes at around 11 am when your energy starts to lag before lunch, and an hour in the evening to scroll Instagram to your hearts content. This way you can leave the rest of the day open for learning and working without fearing that you’re missing out on something wonderful!
Or, if that is too infrequent for you, give yourself five minutes at the top of every hour!
3. Limit multitasking
The ability to multitask is something that people generally pride themselves on. Getting one thing done while managing another is definitely a skill, but it can also be stressful and distracting. If you’re anything like us you often start on a project, get an email on another subject, and abandon your original task to respond to the email. That can cause productivity to lag because of the time it takes to jump from one task to another. Plus, having a million things on the go can just be crazy making!
To ditch the distractions, focus on one task at a time, complete it (or get a big chunk done) before dipping back into your emails or notifications for the next task.
4. Try a playlist to help inspire focus
Let’s be honest. There are some days where it feels like you just can’t seem to focus, no matter what you try. If short breaks aren’t working and it’s far too easy to turn off ‘Do Not Disturb’..
Did you know that Spotify and YouTube offer ‘productivity playlists’? It’s true, and they’re FANTASTIC! There are six types of music used by highly-successful people that are proven to boost your productivity and ditch the distractions: classica, nature (think ocean waves or rain), cinematic (grandiose soundtracks), video game, and 50 & 80 Beats Per Minute (a tempo that will actually put your brain into an alpha state).
Give them a try! You’ll be glad that you did. They provide the right amount of distraction to keep your brain happy while you bust out some work.
5. Try the Pomodoro Technique and reward yourself for your hard work!
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed in the 1980s by an Italian university student named Francesco Cirillo. While he didnt have the same digital distractions that we have today, it’s perhaps even more relevant in our modern, digital world!
To follow Cirillo’s method, start out with your daily to-do list. Then, set your timer for 25 minutes and get to work until the timer rings. Then, you get to enjoy a short break as a reward for staying focused. Repeat this process, taking longer breaks as needed for more demanding tasks.
Now that you’re in the groove, change your life with CBBC Career College!
We all know that learning and working is easiest when you’re interested in what you’re doing! If you’re looking for a new path or challenge, CBBC Career College is here to help you find your way. Our admissions team is spectacular and can answer any additional questions that you may have. They can walk you through financial options, program start dates, and all of the things that you need to wrap up the research phase and start on your education journey.
It’s time to change your life with CBBC Career College. Contact us today!