According to recent studies by T-Mobile and Asurion, the average person now checks their phone somewhere between 80 and 150 times a day – that’s a staggering once every 12 minutes!
To me, this is an incredibly alarming statistic, because it begs the question: How do you possibly get any meaningful work done when you’re constantly distracting yourself?
Be in no doubt, this constant task switching is having an impact on your productivity and the quality of your work.
As the infographic below nicely sums up for you, negative consequences include but are no means limited to:
- Reduced productivity
- Increased time needed to complete a task
- Increased error rates
- & Reduced IQ during heavy multitasking
Simply put, distraction and restless task switching is a bad, bad thing for productivity. To achieve our best work, we want to reach a state of deep focus and concentration. But how?
I’m glad you asked! Here are three easy steps you can implement right away to make vast improvements in your working environment – and, most importantly, in the results you achieve.
- Ditch the phone
I mean, physically put it in another room, on silent, where it won’t distract you. Then come back to it when you’re on a break. If that’s too much for you to handle straightaway, at the very least turn off all notifications and make sure your phone is switched to silent.
- Ration your email/social media checking
A lot of email/social media checking is a compulsive, habitual behaviour that serves no real value. People who are always flitting to social media either have nothing worthwhile to be doing, or are procrastinating from something they ought to be doing. So try to have fixed times each day when you check your email and social media accounts (morning, lunch, evening, say) – otherwise, just leave them alone!
- Use a productivity app
If you need an extra kick to keep your discipline, there are a range of productivity apps out there that will help keep you focused. One I personally use is Noisli, one of the free productivity apps I review in my Thinking Gentleman’s Toolkit (go here to get the entire toolkit for free!). Noisli is a basic app with a countdown timer for fixed work blocks, a distraction free writing mode, and a mixer of background sounds conducive to focus and relaxation.
Implement these small, simple, but highly effective changes in your work routine, and I guarantee you will see a change in your concentration and focus.
What these are are really good ways to minimize distraction and make your work time count. As I’ve said before, working smart, not hard, is the counterintuitive truth of productivity, so try these tips out and reap the rewards of outperforming your distracted, phone-addled peers!
Cambridge graduate. Writer and thinker. Life enthusiast.