Twitter direct message.
Skype instant message.
There are so many different platforms and means of communication!
If you have your notifications turned on for each of these, that means there are
also so many different ways to allow self-interruption.
According to neuroscience research, it takes our brains an average of one minute to restart after switching tasks. If the average adult checks their phone 110 times per day (yeah, this is from research, too!), you’ve allowed yourself to be interrupted 110 times, with an estimated loss of 110 minutes from brain re-start time.
Holy smokes! For those who lament about not having enough time in the day, here’s an easy fix for you:
Turn. Off. Your. Notifications.
This time management tactic has been used by others, and they’ve lived to tell about it! You may go through a bit of withdrawal at first because scientists have shown us that checking our phones is like getting a hit of dopamine. Yup, we’re addicts!
But if you can make it through your first 30 minutes, you can make through your next hour, and your next afternoon, and your next day.
Just to clarify, I’m definitely not suggesting that you stop checking your communication platforms.
What I am highly recommending, however, is that you check them when your brain is ready to receive them…and not get interrupted.
How long you can go without checking depends on your profession. If you are a dispatcher for emergency responders, you need to answer everything that comes across your desk ASAP. For the rest of us, how often do we get true emergencies?
For some of my time management clients, they can go 3-4 hours without checking. For others, because of the nature of their work, they must check every 15 minutes. Even if you are required by your boss to check every 10 minutes, that’s still 10 whole minutes of focused time. You’ll get more done in that uninterrupted 10 minutes than you will in 60 minutes of constant interruptions.
Do you dare to break free from the chains of your gadgets?
Do you control your gadgets, or do your gadgets control you?
For more productivity tools and tips from time management keynote speaker Helene Segura, click here.