• kevinhubschmann

5 Strategies beat the Distraction Monster

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Have you ever thought about how our lives have become a series of transitions from smaller screen sizes to larger ones back to smaller ones? If you’re anything like me, here’s what an overdose of digital might look like:

  • Wake Up - Check Phone

  • Having Coffee (or laying in bed) - Read articles or newsletters on phone or tablet

  • Starting the Work Day - Check email on your computer, hop on Zoom for the day

  • Ending the Work Day - Plop down in front of the big screen TV, aimless scroll through Social Media on your phone

  • Go to Sleep - Read something on your tablet, set your alarm on your phone

Does any of this seem familiar? At the very least, I think we all can agree on the digital overload during our work day. Perhaps more now than ever, our employers are demanding constant availability from us to prove we're not wasting the day away. So instead of lunch breaks with co-workers or side conversations with teammates, our days are stacked full of meetings, Slacks, and tasks, and we are expected to be available and ready to respond to all of it. Why? Because the 8 hour work day is ingrained in our culture, even if we have outgrown it. So how do we fill the 8 hours, even when there might not be 8 hours worth of work? Digital Distractions.

Do you actually care about your friend's latest Instagram post of her cat watching her work from home? Do you need to see the latest BREAKING NEWS about lockdowns in and record case numbers? Is the endless Twitter scroll improving your life or well being in any way? Here are all of the things that can distract me during the day:

Communication Distractions

  • Email

  • Slack

  • Texting

  • Calendar

Social Media Distractions

  • LinkedIn

  • Instagram

  • Facebook

Media Distractions

  • NY Times

  • HoopsHype

  • ESPN

  • Email Newsletters

Here’s a live look at what your productive self wants to do to you:

Here are 5 strategies that I’ve found helpful:

1. Self-Control

This app lets me block off the websites that I know I will look to if given a moment of distraction energy. Without,, and getting in my way, I've eliminated 2/3rds of my distractions right off the bat.

2. Away Messages

Block off time in your calendar for “Deep Work” so people can’t book over your dedicated time to work.

Turn off your Slack Notifications and add an Away Message (take it back to the AIM days).

If you're a Mac user and inhaling your messages through your computer, turn off your iMessage notifications.

3. Treat Email like it is an admin task

Schedule two hours a day to check email. All other times, add an email away message (Vacation Responder) and leave your cell number for people to contact you if anything is urgent. More times than not, it's not.

This one’s tough, but you’ll see you have more time than you realize, so try to only check your email during this dedicated time.

4. Connect phone calls to your computer

If your phone is connected to your computer, you can still receive incoming calls on your computer. One means of distraction is better than two 🤷.

5. Quatro

Organize your tasks based on the impact that they have on your goals and when they are due. Decision fatigue plays a huge role in allowing the distraction monsters to creep in, so Quatro lets you only see the top 4 things you should be working on at once based on their customize formula.

#distractions #focus

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