How to break free from digital distractions so you can be more productive.

Do you check your phone first thing in the morning?

How about every half hour or hour or more?

Do you watch YouTube on your laptop while also scrolling through your phone checking out Facebook, Instagram or maybe email?

Do you find it hard to read hardcopy books or documents for 20 mins straight without constantly having to unlock your phone to find out which social media notification has caused your phone to beep?

Do you check out social media at meetings or church services? (Don’t worry I won’t tell your boss or your pastor). 😉

If you answered yes to any of the above. You’re not alone.

Thanks or should I say “no thanks” to the addictive nature of social media apps, more and more users have gotten into the habit of losing hours of productive time scrolling, swiping, reading, posting, commenting, tweeting and retweeting on social media, every day. Our digital devices which are our biggest assets in helping us do our jobs more effectively and efficiently are now becoming a hindrance to our productivity too.

But all hope is not lost.

Today’s Success Smoothie is all about some simple changes you can make so that you’re less likely distracted by social media and can give more time and attention to those activities that’ll ultimately drive your personal and professional success.

In case you aren’t aware though, social media addiction is a real problem and will remain a possibility for every one of us, for as long as we keep using these apps. That’s because several research findings prove that social media apps by virtue of their innate design are meant to be addictive. Add to that the fact that the value of these platforms is closely related to how much time users spend using them and, we can be sure that the owners of these platforms will keep tweaking these apps to make them even more addictive in the future.

So what simple changes am I suggesting you make to break free from digital distractions so you can be more productive?

 

BECOME SELF-AWARE

Truth is, you’ll never make changes if you don’t see a need to. You and only you can say just how much time you’re losing to unproductive wanderings on social media. However, if you need additional help tracking the exact amount of time you currently spend on social media and how frequently you interrupt yourself while working, to log into these social media apps, you can download digital wellness apps like Socialfever, SocialX and others in the “wellness category” to help you track and limit your social media usage.

 

TURN OFF UNHELPFUL NOTIFICATIONS

While it’ll be helpful to leave your work email notifications on, leaving your social media notifications on is likely to make it easier for you to be distracted as the constant beeps and red and white notification tags pop up on multiple apps all day long.

As for me, over a year ago, I turned off notifications on all my social media apps and I haven’t looked back since.

If you’d like to do same (and I strongly advise that you do) but aren’t sure where to go to turn off notifications for all or some of your social media apps, no sweat- just ask Google. Hehehe.

 

VISIT SOME SOCIAL MEDIA SITES ONLY ON YOUR COMPUTER Since most of us access social media mainly via our mobile devices, refusing to install on your smartphone, those apps you can comfortably use on desktop might be a helpful way to keep you from checking them as often. I’ve done this with Facebook and Twitter and I’ve been happy with my decision so far.

 

CHOOSE PAPER OVER YOUR SCREEN WHENEVER YOU CAN

Write your To-Do-List on paper. Read hard copy books rather than e-books on your phone – whenever you can. Doing this will reduce your screen time and also the temptation to wander off into social media while you should be doing something more productive.

Choosing paper over your screen also helps with when you’re attending meetings, conferences or church services. Think about it;

If during a meeting, you opt to take notes on a physical note pad rather than on your phone, with your phone placed on silent mode and safely tucked away in your handbag or bag pack, do you think it’ll be easier to pay full attention to what’s been said at the meeting?

Except you allow your mind to worry or wander, keeping your phone out of sight and out of reach during events will definitely increase your chances of being able to fully concentrate on what’s being said or taught.

Not only is the sight of you scrolling away on your phone during a meeting likely to come off as disrespectful to the person speaking, allowing social media distract you from concentrating, during meetings, conferences and church services is you short-changing yourself. You can break this habit by choosing to keep your phone out of sight and out of reach during meetings and opting to take notes with a pen and notepad instead.

 

USE APPS TO KEEP YOU IN CHECK

If you don’t need apps to track your social media usage (because you’re already certain that social media is taking up more time than is necessary for you to make considerable progress towards your goals), you can still use digital wellness apps to help you limit your social media usage.

Apps like SocialX, Digitox, Screentime, Yourhour and many more digital wellness apps can help you both track and limit excessive social media usages so you have the time and mental fortitude to focus on other meaningful activities like work, study, thinking and spending uninterrupted time with friends and family and having a good night’s rest

 

RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PICK UP YOUR PHONE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING

Jim Kwik- one of the world’s most renown experts in memory improvement and optimal brain performance has been known to discourage the use of cell phones first thing in the morning. According to him, when we use social media first thing in the morning, we’re giving away our sovereignty and power because we’re invariably training our brains to react to everybody else’s demands rather than set intentions of our own.

Hence, rather than reach for your phone first thing in the morning, brain and peak performance experts teach that you’ll have a more productive day if you spent the first 30 minutes to 1 hour, out of bed studying, praying, exercising and drawing up a To-Do-List for the day.

 

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE

Sometimes this may be necessary, but only you can say when. However, I’d like to remind you that if you lost your phone for whatever reason, the whole world will still be fine- even if they noticed they couldn’t reach you for a while. Hence, you might find it helpful to switch off your phone for one or more hours (every day or once in a while) so you can pray or study or think or plan or spend time with loved ones. The choice is, however, yours- all yours.

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There you have it. I trust you got a ton of value. If you did, please don’t hesitate to share this episode with your friends and loved ones. Also, if you’re in need of guidance to help you set goals that spur you to fully pursue your dreams, then please, leave a comment beneath this post with the words “Hi Ify, I’d like your Ultimate Goal Setting Checklist” and I’ll come right over and leave you a link via which you can download that sweet, FREE resource.

if you don’t follow me on instagram or twitter, please do, I’m @ifeoma_nkem on Instagram and Twitter.

Finally, thank you so much for being here. And until next week when I bring you another success smoothie, do remember that success comes from making the most of where you are on the way to where you’re going. So be sure to do just that. Ciao

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