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Hide Your Phone When You're Trying to Work. Seriously.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/02/smarter-living/be-more-productive-hide-your-phone.html

nytimes.com

Hide Your Phone When You're Trying to Work. Seriously.
The biggest roadblock to your productivity is the smartphone on your desk. Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter! Every Monday, S.L. editor Tim Herrera emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

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Minimizing The Brain Drain Caused By Your Devices

Minimizing The Brain Drain Caused By Your Devices
  • Whether you are using it or not, be aware of how much of your conscious thoughts are occupied by your devices.
  • Take your devices out of your sight and keep it so while you need to be productive.
  • Take notes by hand if possible. Studies show that writing by hand increases learning.
  • Don’t give up. Reducing the use of devices is hard and takes time.

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Phones And The Human Brain

Phones take over many duties in our day-to-day lives and so they occupy portions of our attentional capacity.

Studies indicate that regular phone and computer users that physically get away from devices, theirs or not, have an increase in available cognitive capacity and that doing so is the best way to make sure you won’t have anxiety over whatever you might be missing on it.

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Checking Email

Check email only at set points during the day. 
  • you may decide that you'll only check your email before lunch, and at the end of the day.
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Checking your email regularly...

... during the day can be an effective way to keep your inbox at manageable levels.

However, the constant interruption and distraction that comes from it can dramatically lower your productivity, and disrupt your ability to enter a state of flow when working on high value projects.

Reading Email

  • Try using the "Two-Minute Rule" when you read your mail: if the email will take less than two minutes to read and reply to, then take care of it right now, even if it's not a high priority.
  • For emails that will take longer than two minutes to read or respond to, schedule time on your calendar, or add this as an action on your To-Do List , to do later.