2 Ways To Start Taking Back Your Life

RR Crane

Technology improvements are hitting us at a pace unseen in human history, and with these changes, technology-based noise and disruption have increased from a trickle to a steady stream.

Big screen TVs tuned to multiple channels in restaurants, people at concerts glued to their mobile devices, Grandma Sue at the dinner table looking at Facebook, Uncle Jeff driving his car texting, Cousin Vinnie walking down the street using WhatsApp, and the examples are neverending, 

Reports indicate that the attention of a human is now less than the attention of a goldfish. Much of this change is related to technological advances in the twenty-first century. 

The terrible thing about disruption and noise is that if you are interrupted by a text, email, etc., it can take fifteen to twenty minutes to refocus on your work. The ultimate squirrel chase or journey down a rabbit hole.

Think about the possible time wasted each day based on an interruption, and what is increasing your productivity worth based on these issues? 

If you are interrupted once an hour, you lose a minimum of 25% of your productive time, and these are interruptions that you are aware of if you pay attention. Considering the interruptions, you are responsible for, you are experiencing significantly reduced productivity levels.

If you wonder why it feels like you never accomplish anything, perhaps you should try a few things to take your life back from the technology thief. It’s your choice, but why not give it a shot?

I am tired of the technology hamster wheel we are on, and I have made and will continue to make significant and minor changes to take my life back. All it takes is baby steps in the right direction to change that overwhelmed feeling.

Enough background, now I will provide examples of technology disruption and noise and how I started to take my life back. Using this information is your choice, but these methods have worked for me.

 Example #1 – SInce I was a child, I have followed NFL Football like a religion. I watched as many games as possible each week, researched stats, and participated in football picks and pools. As if that was not enough, once I was involved in fantasy football, a whole new world was upon me. 

In my mind, I was only doing this during my leisure hours, but once I started tracking my activity, it became clear that it was bleeding over into my professional life. How? Instant notifications by my apps of player injuries and other concerns, and when that happened, I would lose somewhere between fifteen and twenty minutes until I regained my focus. 

Change #1 – To increase my productivity in this area, I initially shut off notifications for all apps that provided updates on players, teams, etc., and I limited my research until after work and lunch. This little tweak gave me at least one hour of focused time per day, resulting in a 12.5% increase in focus time during football season.

I have since gone further on eliminating noise from technology supporting NFL Football, but this small step gave me back 12.5% of my work life.

 Example #2 – How often do you look at your text messages, whether you receive a notification or not? Did I get a new text and miss it would run through my mind if I did not verify at least every half hour, and once I looked at my phone, I had other notifications, so guess what? I was chasing a squirrel or going down a rabbit hole. 

I thought I was being proactive by verifying if one of my hundreds of personnel or thousands of customers texted me with an issue, and once I tracked how many times I did this each day (upward of 50), I realized I had a problem.

Change #2 – I informed the world that I check my text messages once an hour unless I am driving, and if driving, I check them when I stop. If there was an immediate need, I directed them to call me. To further prevent me from looking, I silence my phone and place it out of arm’s reach as required.

I have taken additional steps to eliminate noise from text messages, but this small step gave me back at least 20% of my work life.

We live in a new world that inundates with more information updates than ever before. It is our choice whether we control the updates or if the updates control us. 

I, for one, am taking my life back and would love to help others take their lives back. The list is endless, and I will provide more ways to start taking your life back in future posts.

What are your thoughts on this subject? 

What have you done to take your life back?

Have a great day, J.

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