It’s time for another Micro Post! (What’s a Micro Post? Find out here!) Next up:
Eliminating Digital Distractions
About nine months ago, I started to notice how digital distractions throughout the course of my day had a negative impact on both my writing and my life. Every time I got a notification on my phone, it took me away from what I was doing, whether I was watching a movie, catching up with friends, or trying to write. Even if I knew I could wait until later to respond, my curiosity always got the better of me.
I also noticed myself checking social media apps habitually, scrolling with no purpose, and wasting a lot of time trying to keep up with what was happening online. Not only were these habits distracting to my writing, they were pulling my brain in too many directions. It left me feeling unfocused and mentally drained on a regular basis. It was affecting my writing, my mood, and my concentration. Maybe there some part of this you can relate to?
I knew these distractions had to go, so here’s what I did:
- I turned off every notification on my phone that isn’t a function of a cell phone. Which is to say, the only notifications I get are for phone calls and text messages. Emails (with the exceptions of a handful of VIPs that push through) and social media notifications can wait until I’m choosing to check them.
- I check my email less. Once every 24 hours/5 days a week is enough. Anyone who would need me more urgently than that has my phone number. I also only check when I have time for anything that might require a response.
- I only check in on social media once a day. This has also made me less compelled to check in when I’m supposed to be working. (I have a whole post about Writing/Social Media Balance if you want to learn more.)
- I walk away from or put away my phone more often, including when I move around my house, go on walks, or hang out with my friends.
All of these techniques have made it easier to be more focused on my life, which in turn has made me a more focused writer.
As always, I hope this helps!
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a bi-weekly email with posts like this one (plus a handful of email exclusives) delivered directly to your inbox!
Now it’s your turn: Have you found notifications and social media distracting you from life? How do you manage it? Tell me about it in the comments. If you have any tips to share, you can leave them there as well!