Distraction. Just thinking about being distracted can be distracting. Even the most driven and focused entrepreneurs cannot completely escape the reality of their own minds. Especially with all the current Coronavirus and political updates coming at us all day long. Many of us do make active efforts to eliminate distractions out of our productive time, but how effective are those efforts?
Take a minute and type “#1 Distraction” in Google’s search bar (or you can take my word for it). Many of the results will incriminate cell phones as the top culprit. One source says that 52% of people polled consider cell phones their biggest distraction while at work, leaving social media, and workplace gossip far behind.
Why does a communication tool that weighs about 3.5 ounces have such a firm grip on our daily lives? Experts suggest that having a device that is so personal convinces our brains that every correspondence that it receives is profoundly important. Could it be your child’s first-grade teacher calling to say your child is in the nurse’s office? Maybe it’s your mechanic calling to remind you that your car needs an oil change. On the other hand, it could be one of the 4,682 junk emails that come pinging every day that have no effect on your life whatsoever.
Whatever the notification brings with it, that tone can get you distracted pretty quickly. Research has shown that whether we answer or acknowledge it, that distraction lasts longer than the brief sound. A recent study revealed that people lose focus, rush answers, and create over-all lesser work products when hearing their ringtone, even if they don’t even look at the device.
In addition, just having a smartphone or other electronic device in front of you opens up the virtual door to the Internet, emails, applications, social media, etc., etc., etc. Give in to the temptation to toss your input on the latest gossip on the group chat, and somehow, you’ve been perusing campaign articles online for the last 25 minutes. Could it be time to leave our distractions at home? Experts say there could be a better way to get through the day. It’s probably not vital that you call the dog groomer between meetings; maybe it would be better to write a note to accomplish that later when you’ve passed the risk of allowing that distracting device into your day.
Try trading the phone for a good ol’ fashioned pen and notepad—a journal if you will. Entrepreneur Peter Gasca has some great tips on how to make the most of your scribbled notes if the last time you wrote things down was halfway through your senior year in high school. Planning out your day with some handwritten notes can help you remember which tasks to focus on much better than writing electronically. And best of all? A notebook doesn’t Ping!