I am easily distracted. I started thinking about writing this on Monday. It is now Friday. Over the last few years, training and now working, as a Gallup Strengths coach, I discovered that my lack of execution is partly due to zero of my dominant strengths falling into the Executing domain (the others being Strategic Thinking, Influencing and Relationship Building).
This led me on a bit of a quest, paying more attention to my attention span, I now employ a range of strategies to protect my focus ranging from time blocking, music, planning my day, reviewing my week, sleep health, employing alter egos for the different roles I fulfil in life – all have helped, but one of the most effective (and immediate) changes I made was following the advice in this article on setting up my phone to shut off all notifications.
I don’t have an iPhone but all the setting are available on Android, and it has, quite literally, changed my life. Annoying sometimes for people trying to get in touch with me but it turned my phone from a supremely effective distraction machine (designed by some of the world’s best minds), to simply a tool.
Research shows it can take up to 23 minutes to get back to what you were doing after an interruption – however, with getting back out into the world as we open up, I have found that other people’s phones, set to “disturb all the time” mode are just as distracting as my own so I have had to add “pack my noise cancelling headphones” to my list of strategies.
So, do those around you a favour, click on the link above, or at least turn off your ringer!