How many times do you check your email and social media during the day?
Few times a day? Every hour? Or even worse, do you have them open all the time and check the notifications the second you get them? You might feel like you miss something urgent and important if you don’t. Right?
Let me tell you, this habit will eat you alive. It almost happened to me…
How can you focus on anything if you allow emails, messages, phone calls and other notifications constantly distract you during the day?
You can’t. Your focus shifts from one thing to another constantly. That’s not how you get things done.
That may be one reason why you feel like you can’t get anything done during the day. You might feel like there’s not enough hours in a day.
Yes there is, my friend. You just have to use the hours wisely.
You don’t have to be reachable 24/7. Absolutely nothing bad will happen if you don’t check your email and social media for even 24 hours. Try it!
Let me tell you a story…
Several years ago I was working on my business day and night. I literally worked from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. And still, I felt I was not getting the things done I should have. There was never enough hours in a day.
Needless to say, I was stressed out of my mind.
Already in verge of burnout in my early 20s, I started realizing what was happening…
By being obsessed about checking my email and social media, and pleasing everyone, I let everyone else decide what I should do at every moment. I let everyone else control my life and actions. My priorities shifted several times during a day.
If someone emailed me and asked me to do something for them, I did it. It really didn’t matter what I was doing at the very moment. I changed my priority instantly.
But then, I realized I couldn’t let that continue anymore. I made a change. Here’s what I did:
- I removed all business-related apps from my phone (e.g. email, social media).
- When I focus on work, I put my phone on mute and take it to another room.
- I check my email and social media at certain times during the day. (This is not easy! I still struggle with it.)
Respect your time
By setting boundaries how and when people can reach me, I’m more productive (and happier) than ever. People also respect my time more.
When I wake up in the morning, I already have a clear focus for the day. I always plan the next day the night before. If someone asks me to do something for them during the day, I schedule it for later. Heck, even my friends know this! When they ask me out for a coffee they ask “What day would you like to get coffee?” because it’s rare I can make it the same day.
Remember, you’re in control of your life and actions, no one else.
I recommend you to think about your email and social media habits for a moment. Are you the obsessed person like I was? Or do you feel like you’re in control of it?
If you feel like you could improve your habits to increase your focus, start with small steps.
When you have a task you need to get done, put your phone on mute, close your email and social media, set a timer for 45 minutes, and focus on the task 100%. After the time is up, you have permission to do what you want.
This is what I constantly do to increase my focus. In fact, most often I finish the task quicker than I thought!
It takes practice, but trust me, it’s worth it.