One Simple Fix That Will Increase Your Productivity

“[Every app you ever download] would like to send you push notifications. Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Before you absently pressing “Yes,” think about what that means.

It’s 11 a.m. You crushed your 10:30 meeting and now have three uninterrupted hours to hammer through some work. Two minutes in to tackling your to-do’s, your phone lights up. Your friend traveling through Europe added a new photo on Facebook. You check out the amazing view from her hotel room and five minutes of scrolling and two likes later, you are back to task #1. Four more minutes go by, and your phone lights up again. The Louis Vuitton sale on Rue La La is starting NOW! You know there is no possibility you are going to shell out $2,000 for a handbag today, but your phone told you to look at the sale, so you spend another 10 minutes scrolling through expensive leather.

[Phone lights up]

You have a new follower on Instagram! 

[Phone lights up]

Drew just sent you a Snapchat of his lunch-- You're green with envy, and now all you can think about is what your going to eat. Your so hungry you just keep typing the same sentence in an email over and over again.

[Phone lights up]

Mom just emailed you an inspirational bible verse.

[Phone lights up]

The music streaming service you use wants you to check out their groovy '70s playlist.

All of a sudden, you're now one hour into your three-hour work session, and have nothing to show. Your morning has been completely dictated by the actions of others, rather than by your own needs. You have lost control.

Social media can be an amazing tool for documenting your life and keeping in touch with friends, but the immediacy of ingesting content with which we have grown accustomed to is disastrous for productivity. Of course you want to see your cousin’s picture of her new baby, but why not set aside ten minutes during your lunch break to do so, rather than be notified every time somebody seems to move? By accepting push notifications from your social media, shopping and recreational apps, you are accepting a continuous stream of distractions. Who has time for that? Life throws enough distractions at you already. Give yourself a break. 

Open up the settings on your smartphone, go to the notifications panel, and start switching your apps to “off.” Only accept notifications to applications that are conducive to your productivity., for instance, actually HELPS you stay on task all day.

This is the first step to re-training your brain and retraining yourself to not constantly, and almost desperately look down at your phone for an update. Rather than unconsciously scrolling through an endless pit of content whenever your phone tells you to do so, you will now consciously choose to check in to social media and other apps when it fits into your schedule. You'll take back control, you'll stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, and you'll become more productive than you ever thought possible.