Chimes, Dings, and Rings: Minimize Distractions

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Out of all the strategies out there to help you be more efficient and show up your best, some would have you run before you can even crawl.  As logic tells us though, you’ve got to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. So yes, we all want to learn the meaty, robust, complicated strategies for growing our business but don’t discount simple foundational strategies you can build upon. Just because a strategy is simple, doesn’t mean it’s not impactful.

There’s one productivity strategy I find so impactful that if you were to do just this one thing, it would make everything else in your business easier and you’ll be able to stay in your focused zone for much longer periods. That strategy is to turn off your notifications! When you want distraction-free time to get your most important work done, it is essential you are not letting chimes, rings and dings pull your focus and distract you. The reality is  life throws us enough distractions. When you want to get in your zone, be most productive, and show up your best, you can’t allow distractions to sabotage you. Here’s why…

Think back to the last time you were in your zone. I mean really in your zone – when a bomb exploding might not have been able to break your concentration. Were you able to get a ton of good work done? I bet you were! We do our best work when we’re able to completely focus on the task at hand. We make far fewer mistakes, too. According to an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, interruptions of four-and-a-half seconds triple the number of errors made post interruption. Yikes!

So how did you stay in your zone last time? Chances are you had come in early, stayed late, or were working on the weekend to avoid being interrupted. Well, guess what? You don’t have to come in at odd hours to get in and stay in your zone! You just have to effectively minimize your most common distractions, which for most business owners come in the form of interruptions by other people and notifications. Yes, it’s worth managing interruptions by your vendors, team members, and clients but before trying to do that, get your own business house in order and make sure you’re not the biggest reason you can’t focus. Make sure you’re not allowing notifications to distract you throughout the day!

The Chimes, Dings, And Rings You Need To Manage:

  • Email Notifications On Your Computer & Phone

These should always be off so you can be in your inbox on your own terms instead of having notifications draw you in throughout the day. Don’t think that’s possible? Check out my Conquer Your Email Masterclass.

  • Incoming Call, Missed Call, Voicemail, & Text Message Notifications

It’s totally unrealistic to turn off all your notifications throughout your entire workday. Your kids are in school. Your doctor might call with those test results. You’re waiting on a call back from clients. Life happens. So, turn these alerts on silent for a block of 30 minutes to an hour only when you need a block of time for high-value focused work. After your scheduled focused work time block, take a glance and see if anything important came in that you nee to respond to immediately.

  • Social Media Notifications

These should always be off. Check social media on your terms during scheduled periods.

  • App Notifications

These should always be off. I can’t think of one good reason to keep these pesky alerts on.

  • Appointment Alarms

Unlike the other notification categories above, always keep your appointment alarms on. These reminders are meant to zap you out of your focused zone so you can switch hats and put your attention elsewhere on time, like a meeting or picking your kid up at the bus stop. Otherwise, you might work right through an important event. Always set your appointment alarm a few minutes ahead of when you need to be doing something else to allow yourself time to properly save documents and prepare fir what’s next. You don’t have an internal alarm clock so definitely keep your appointment alarms on.

Notifications that pop up on your computer or phone might seem harmless but according to a survey performed by Career Builder, 24% of workers admit to spending at least one hour each day on personal calls, emails, or texts. As the business owner who doesn’t have someone looking over your shoulder throughout the day, how much MORE time do you think you might be spending each day on personal calls, emails, and texts during your workday? How much precious work time might you be wasting because of notifications pulling your focus? No matter what device notifications come from, if there would be no ramifications from turning these alerts off, turn them off. If you can’t hear them and you can’t see them, notifications can’t dictate how you spend your day!

How To Turn Off Notifications

Go to YouTube for helpful videos on how to turn off or silent each kind of notification on your particular devices.

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Amber De La Garza

About the author

Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber helps small business owners maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most by improving their time management and elevating their productivity! Amber is a sought after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Small Business Straight Talk Podcast, and creator of Leverage Lab®.

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