Have you been feeling the need to conduct some digital decluttering and wonder how you might remain more focused on what is truly important instead of feeling distracted by too much noise? Many people, entrepreneurs included, need to break the habit of checking their notifications and phone all throughout the day. If you carefully apply the following tips, you will find yourself better able to break the notification distraction habit, simply because you’re making a break from the electronic rat race.

1. Stick to a schedule.

In order to wean yourself from the habit of checking your notifications and phone so much, make a schedule. You can start with fifteen- or thirty-minute increments between each check of your email and social media. Once you become better at not getting sucked into time wasting activities, increase that increment to every 45-minutes, then move up to every hour. 

In addition, also set a 5-minutes timer to check and respond to the most important things. If your inbox is full, allot an extra ten- to fifteen-minutes to respond to anything that requires your input. Also, it is a good idea to inform friends, family, and colleagues that you will not be answering their calls and messages as quickly as you did previously, so that they do not worry or become anxious.

2. Be sure to shut off push notifications whenever possible.

You are not required to pay attention to every interruption from your social media platforms. You can greatly reduce such distractions by shutting off as many push notifications as possible. Go even further by shutting off your email and calendar notifications. If you’re on a schedule for checking email, then notifications are unnecessary. 

3. Remove distracting apps.

Much of your phone usage comes from unconscious habits. Without much thinking, people shift from Instagram to Facebook, then check the weather and texts before playing their favourite game or checking the news. However, if you use only specific necessary apps, then this will decrease the amount of time that’s wasted on your phone. Try deleting the social media apps and only use the web browser of your phone or laptop to engage. You’ll reduce time on your phone as apps, though convenient, make it too easy to waste time, even after your finished engaging with your followers. 

4. Keep your device away from your bed.

Your phone does not have to be the last thing you see before going to sleep at night and the first thing you see in the morning. To avoid the trap of looking at your phone too much, try using an old-school alarm clock instead of your phone.

5. Use a smart speaker.

A smart speaker is valuable as it helps you live a life away from your phone screen. When you have a smart speaker attached to your network via Bluetooth. this will prevent you from having to use your phone to turn on podcasts or music; instead, just say your choices to the smart speaker and go about your day, listening and learning instead of being sucked into your phone. 

The longer your phone is out of your hands, the more productive you’ll become, and these tips are just the beginning of your decreased dependence on tech. You may even discover that your days feel longer because you’re not distracted with your phone or notifications any longer.

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