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OVERCOMING DIGITAL DISTRACTIONS

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Digital technology was meant to make our lives easier, to make things better, and improve our productivity, yet we somehow waste more time than ever by getting lost in digital distractions. It’s something that I consciously have to work on daily myself. Of all the apps on the phone, I believe social media apps are the most distracting. Whenever I’m trying to work on a difficult task – be it writing this blog post, finishing my painting, or whatever else it may be then social media is always the easiest and instantly rewarding thing I drift off to. The harder the task I work on, the more the temptation to steal a quick look at the app. Getting that little ‘ping’ of notification and interacting on social media sends a rush of dopamine to the brain, giving us a reward every single time and it is highly addictive. 

Thus naturally, a big part of finishing our tasks on schedule requires us to manage and overcome these digital distractions. Here are some of the techniques that I find most effective

Turn all notifications off on your phone.

All-day long, my phone would light up with a new notification from one of the social media apps and I would constantly keep checking them, creating an inadvertent state of anxiety and distraction. By just turning off social media notifications, you can rid yourself of the constant inducement to check your social media apps. And better yet, you can simply get caught up on all the updates whenever you’re ready at a time of your own choosing! 

Take social media apps off your home screen

My social media apps were all on my phone’s home screen so I’d check them every time I had a spare second – like waiting on the microwave timer or waiting for code to compile. And needless to say, more often than not, I usually end up spending much more time on social media. After moving these off my home screen, I have to consciously search for the apps if I want to open them. This is usually enough of a deterrent to stop me from opening the apps and end up spending way too much time on them

Turn your phone on airplane mode

This is an obvious solution to a problem: Putting the phone in airplane mode, or better yet, turning it off completely. When you’re working on something important or very involved and really in the zone, you wouldn’t want things like an email notification or a phone call distract you. It could be hard to snap back into that focus once that initial distraction occurs.

Set strict boundaries

A system I have developed to stop social media encroaching on my personal time/space is to never look at the phone late in the evening or early in the morning. This is the time I spend on personal tasks and I do not spend any of it on social media. This made the biggest difference to me is limiting my social media and smartphone use and it also comes with the corresponding benefits – helping in mentally setting myself up for the day and helping me get a better night’s sleep.

What do you guys do to manage social media distractions and to keep yourself on schedule? 

Me On Everything

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16 COMMENTS

  • KEllis

    Great suggestions. I tend to put my phone on sleeping mode during the hours I want to be undisturbed.

    • Navina Rajendran
      AUTHOR

      Thanks 😃 Sleeping mode is the best option

  • Gunnar

    Great post! I find that I get the most distracted while doing work on my desktop (2 screens problem). Do you have any suggestions?

    • Navina Rajendran
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much !! Multiple screen distraction is challenging for me too, but I used to stick to one task at a time. It brings you step by step in the direction you want to go. Hope this helps!!

  • Heather Ritchie

    I don’t even think we realize just how distracting notifications and apps can be. Even after several years working from home I still find myself breaking concentration to check a notification. Setting strict boundaries is key and turning off notification helps.

    • Navina Rajendran
      AUTHOR

      Turning off notifications is the best option to overcome digital distraction 😁

  • Re-Organized Space

    Very well written, I love the layout of your blog. Very Nice!

    • Navina Rajendran
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much !!

  • Mel

    Great post! A really needed post for me, who started to have separation anxiety with my phone sometimes. 😭😅

    • Navina Rajendran
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much !!

  • Miranda Hernandez

    These are all great suggestions. I still have trouble following through sometimes, but these are good reminders. Our phones can too often act like leashes.

  • hari

    great suggestions.
    turning off notifications is a great thing to do.
    thank you so much for sharing!

  • Martine

    Yes, these are great tips! Will try them out and hope to “win” some time & energy with them. Thanks for sharing! Best wishes from the Netherlands, Martine

  • Ana de Jesus

    This is so true. Social media can be very distracting so what a good idea to put your phone on airplane mode when you are trying to write!

  • farragio

    I never thought of putting my phone in airplane mode and will definitely try it!

  • Saranya

    Well written! Yes, sorting away social media apps in folders helps! I also mute group notifications in WhatsApp and turn off notifications from other apps .

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