Flip your phone upside down. Lock it in a filing cabinet. Throw it in the toilet. Okay, don’t throw it in the toilet, but, seriously, turn it upside down, place it out of view, and set all notifications on silent.
Email, specifically email on your phone, is the most common deterrent to productivity at work. I first write my blog posts with pen on paper to ensure I can not have any email distracting me. Not really a pen and paper kinda organista? Well, then I'd close those tabs or open a new browser on your computer.
Only answer email three times daily. I read more articles about how the most successful people only reply to emails at certain points during the day instead of every time a new notification pops up, whether on the phone or computer. This method decreases distraction and helps direct focus on productivity.
I’ve found what keeps me most productive is checking mine within the first 20 minutes I start working, within 20 minutes after lunch, then 20(ish) minutes before I quit working each day. As you develop this habit (all only take two weeks!), you’ll be able to waste less and less time on email during these three times per day, and you’ll become more productive, which can’t help but lead to more professional success.
You are done with your workday! Turn yourself off mentally, in addition to physically. Take a deep breath and smile. The next step might be impossibly difficult: If truly possible, take your work email off your phone. Take away your need to check work after work. Take time for your self care, whether that's taking a cooking or aerobics class, reconnecting with a friend, getting a massage - whatever gives you self care! Don’t let anyone make you think you’re “not a team player” because you don’t work while you’re, um, not at work!
If your company supplies your smartphone, then taking the email off it might be difficult.Try it for a week, though, if possible. Anxiety might rule your brain on Monday night, but wait to see how you feel on Friday. This project might make your life feel something that you’ve never felt since the pre-360-degree technology era: real personal space. This relief might even give you better ideas for work (tip: journal it!) or to get out of a job that's suppressing creativity for your dream job.
Like many company heads, I have specific times of day when I check my company social media, too, instead of checking it throughout the day, and I have notifications turned off across all platforms. Why? Like the email check, this social media check employs the exact counterproductive head space. Especially, if I’m at a clients space, it looks very unprofessional if I’m checking my phone or it's lighting up every 10 minutes.
Let's prep for this social media counter-production project, though. Spend a week or two monitoring analytics and increasing SEO to start, in order to know the best time of day to post on each platform. This is very important, as the number of different age groups, genders and professionals differ from platform-to-platform and company-to-company, and members of each group check said platforms different times of each day.
ANYWAY… The loophole is unless checking online outlets TRULY is work related. I spend one cumulative hour per day on strictly work-related social media platforms - half an hour each morning and afternoon. I get on, post, respond to followers or comments, scan for relatable, helpful and professionally progressive accounts, then close those apps.
After work, though? I’m totally all for going carte blanche on your personal accounts to ooh and ahh at as many puppies on Instagram as your heart desires! (I know my heart desires a lot!)
Love ya. Mean it. Au re.
What’s your reaction to “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”? So what are your productive prohibitors? Have a question about this content? Post them to the comments section! Think I’m exaggerating?! Tell me why!
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