August 14, 2018
7 Ways to Minimize Digital Distractions
If you have 2 seconds of downtime, are you grabbing your phone? We see it all the time – waiting in the carpool line, at a stop light, waiting in the line at the store, standing around in public. Everyone’s reaching for their phones. I know sometimes you might be answering an important text or liking a wedding photo on your friend’s page BUT the problem is that we’re becoming reactive instead of proactive and in turn, we’re letting our devices dictate our days. Instead of choosing when we are okay with distractions, we’re allowing our devices to make our schedules for us. I’m not saying that devices are bad, I’m saying that they aren’t helping us get things done and if you’re wondering where your time is going during the day, I think you might need to take a peek at how you’re spending your time on your devices.
Have you seen my new course, Jumpstart Your Routine? The first module is all about eliminating distractions – this is a small excerpt (digital distractions) from module/task #1. If this resonates with you, you’ll find the course full of simple tasks designed to help you reset your home and gain back your time, allowing you to get into a routine.
You ‘quick’ check your email and get an email from work that ‘needs’ to be dealt with immediately (or so you feel/think) so now you are back at work when you should be spending time with your family or just being present in whatever you’re doing. Or maybe you’re scrolling social media and see one of your favorite ‘friends’ sharing a makeup tutorial and now you’ve just spent $100 on an eye cream and lash-building mascara that you never knew you needed.
While I’d love to get rid of any devices and things with a cord, I know that that isn’t possible and I’m also extremely grateful for the internet because it has allowed me to be home with my kids, but I’m seeing some ramifications from not putting some boundaries around the devices.
If you truly want to make a difference in your home and your life, I think you need to set some firm boundaries around distractions. Distractions can be all sorts of things and they aren’t always bad, devices are just one of these distractions. The first task in Jumpstart Your Routine will do just that. I think you’ll find that you are so much more productive when you take control over your distractions.
Here are a couple ideas for getting started – start with your phone:
- Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel ungrateful for what you have.
- Unfriend friends that aren’t really your friends.
- Have some looming emails to respond to? Take care of those.
- Turn off phone notifications. I only have notifications on email, text, and phone calls on my cell phone. Keeping any other notifications OFF eliminates any unnecessary scrolling and distractions.
- Stop checking your phone. Keep your phone in a charging station when you aren’t using it. Lock it up in the glovebox or keep it stashed in your purse when you’re in your car. We still have a landline so if I am using my phone it’s more for business, taking pics, texting, and Instagram. If you want to surf the web or your Instagram feed, set a specific time during the day just for that and don’t be afraid to set a timer for yourself if you have to.
- Set a timer. Use a timer on your stove, clock, phone and set it for your specific task. Ten to fifteen minute increments is a great place to start. Set the timer – focus on the task at hand until the timer goes off. Repeat the process as needed and until the task is completed. While working at home I set a timer for about 60 minutes for a focused work task and then I get up and do something home-related. It might be switching out laundry, prepping dinner, or taking a break.
- Limit your apps. The only social media app that I have on my iPhone is Instagram – because you kind of have to have that on a phone for it to work. I don’t have FB or messenger, Twitter, etc. on my phone. I only use my laptop for social media and I find that that distinction helps me drastically limit my time on social media.
Everyone gets distracted and mindlessly strays from the tasks at hand, but there are times when you’d rather not go down that rabbit hole, so to speak. When I’m working, doing home tasks, and/or spending time with the family and friends, I don’t want to get distracted. I want to enjoy every bit of my REAL life and I don’t want to be distracted by my screen life. If I’m working, I want to be productive and efficient and not spend more time than I need to on any one thing.
Try out these tips for limiting your screen time. By limiting your screen time, you’ll be organizing your time, and ultimately you’ll be more efficient and productive. Better yet, you’ll have more FREE time. That’s a win all around! What’s your biggest distraction?
When my daughter was 1 I felt like I spent more time looking at my cell phone than watching her grow up and I hated that! So I did get rid of my cell phone and got a landline instead and 3 years later I’m still so glad that I did. Now the laptop is my issue, of course, and you’re totally right. I will literally get nothing accomplished in a day if I sit on it and follow the forever paths it leads me down. I’d love to get rid of it too, but I still need my email for certain things. I find it best to put it in an extremely inconvenient place so that I only get on it if i REALLY need to. So now it’s time to get off of it! It’s Tuesday, let’s dust! 🙂
Wow, this post hit home. Last week I was away from WiFi and it was great. This week I “have to catch up” and it’s a time suck!! Thanks for your gentle reminder to be present and productive.
Yes, I am off for the summer (preschool teacher) and I have been spending too much time on the computer and my phone. If I didn’t my house would probably be cleaned and organized! I signed up for the new cleaning class you just put out and can’t wait to start it!
b r SaysPost author
Thank you Stephanie!
Viktoria | Awesome Alice Says
I’m guilty of scrolling through Facebook way too many times throughout the day. And it’s true, I don’t get as much done as I could if I just ignored my phone a little bit more.
So thanks for the great reminder!
We adopted a “no technology before bedtime” rule, where bedtime is the kids’ bedtime. This means our family time is spent eating together, conversing, playing games, doing our chores, etc – while focusing on each other. 1-2 x a week we might watch a family friendly program that my husband and I use as a launchpad for reiterating a value or moral related lesson. And sometimes as a treat our 4 & 5 year old can watch a story video on YouTube instead of us reading them a book, but this instills the idea that TV watching should be a treat, not something we mindlessly do. My husband and I don’t go on Facebook, etc until after the kids are in bed. We find that the times we do need to go online to look up a recipe, find directions, or check store hours we are able to focus on looking up that one thing, then getting back to the task at hand rather than falling down the rabbit hole.