I got the bad habit of checking my email inbox and twitter timeline every five minutes from too many -long and boring- accounting classes back at the university.
After learning the hard way that my productivity would go down dramatically due to the lack of continuous focus, I knew I had to implement some kind of system to help me “get my head out of the twutter”.
Here are four different things that I did to instantly reduce social media and email distractions, increase my concentration and get more important things done:
Disable Push Notifications
When I made the switch from the official Twitter app to Tweetbot, the fact that I’d lose notifications got me kinda worried in the first place. But then I discovered that I could live with it.
I manage five different twitter accounts on my iPhone so you can imagine how big of a deal this was.
Most of the time you are not required to instantly reply to a tweet. In fact, I don’t know anyone who saved a friend’s life with a fast @ reply, do you?
If they really need to reach you, they can probably do it with a phone call, whatsapp, or a regular text message.
Put Your Social iOs Apps in a Stinky “Hermit” Folder
One of the things that I’ve tried is to put the most distracting apps far away from the main screen. This way I have to take some extra steps in order to get to them, which makes it less likely to happen being the lazy-ass person that I am, sometimes.
Enable Lockscreen Passcode
I’ve been trying this one for two weeks and the results have been truly… surprising.
Just by adding another security layer to the famous “slide to unlock” I turned checking twitter, facebook and google+ into a “pain in the ass” kind of task.
Now I have to reach into my pocket, grab my phone, take it out, wake it up, slide to unlock, remember a lame four digit passcode, enter it, swipe a few screens to the right, open a folder, click on the app icon…
so.not.worthy. (and that’s the beauty of it)
I’ve never been a fan of the airplane mode but I try to stay offline as much as I can to reduce distractions and increase battery life.
If you have a jailbroken iPhone, I recommend SBSettings (on Cydia) to quickly switch your data and wifi ON an OFF, from anywhere you are, just by swiping your finger across the status bar.
You don’t need to implement all these tweaks at once, start with the passcode one and you’ll be surprised, it’s one of my favorites now!
I want to try to disable push emails for 30 days and see if I can do fine with just checking it once in the mornings (or once a week ala 4HWW).
Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter and google+ to join me on this productivity challenge, coming soon ;)