While the digital age and the prevalence of wireless internet connections have made juggling personal life, work and everything else much easier, and you can do almost anything with just the touch of a finger from your smartphone, digital distractions can make it difficult to focus and to be productive at work. If it’s not your phone beeping every minute with notifications from social media apps, you have emails streaming in all the time.
According to a 2018 Udemy study, 36% of millennials/Gen Z report that they spend two hours or more per work day looking at their phones for reasons other than work, with social media apps named as the biggest distractions to a work day. Luckily, there are solutions. Here are some of the things you can do to avoid digital distractions going forward.
Give yourself regular breaks
Taking breaks often, or whenever you have the opportunity to, is essential when it comes to moving away from digital distractions. Experts in this area advise taking digital-free breaks at least every 90 minutes, as sleep cycles are said to last about 90 minutes, which also applies to the hours we’re awake. Consider taking a walk, going for a work out, or getting a coffee during your work hours. And ensure your digital detox breaks are no less than ten minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much this can boost your productivity.
Break dependency on your phone
One of the best ways to get rid of digital distractions is to break your dependency on them. If you find yourself checking your phone every five minutes, you can start by only checking it every fifteen minutes. Try and turn your phone off or set it on airplane mode for fifteen minutes after scrolling through your notifications. Turn your phone back on, and only browse for a minute or two, then you can repeat the cycle. Once you no longer feel the urge to check your phone all the time, you can start shutting of your device for longer periods.
Become aware of what’s happening
You might not have realised that technology can increase your anxiety levels. Studies reveal that people who experience fears of missing out on an event satisfy these fears by turning to technology. These people have to browse their phones every minute to ensure they stay updated. They feel anxious when it’s not possible for them to browse their social media platforms.
Multitasking with technology can also decrease your performance and productivity. Browsing your Instagram during a work presentation, for instance, means that you’re not fully engaged in the presentation. Being aware that you may be decreasing your work performance and engagement just by allowing yourself to be influenced by digital demands is the first step in setting yourself free from digital distractions.
Introduce tech boundaries
It’s important to have tech boundaries. You will be less distracted and will be more fully engaged in your work, family and other things that matter the most in your life. Start by not keeping any devices in your bedroom. Many people go to bed browsing their phones. Even when they wake up the first thing they check is their social media notifications.
Get into the routine of browsing through your devices only at certain times and when you’re in particular places in the course of your day, such as your entertainment area or the kitchen. Having tech- or even connectivity-free areas will keep digital distractions away and make you more productive and more fulfilled.
Whatever the case, getting rid of digital distractions in your environment can boost your productivity levels and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Try out the above four tips on how to avoid digital distractions, and you will start to see results.