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This ‘21st-century Syndrome’ is due to two factors:
Our brains are facing an onslaught of information and ‘supernormal stimuli’ from a variety of sources like social media, gaming, pornography and the likes.
The brain needs time and space to process information. The breaks we take during work, like talking to a colleague at the watercooler provides a ‘downtime’ and helps process information.
This takes the shape of distractions when we are at home. You could even be problem-solving while quietly doing the laundry at home, as your brain processes the events and information in the background.
Our feelings, emotions and fears remain largely unshared at home, when we are trying to do many things at once, fighting countless battles single-handedly to balance everything.
Not having someone to talk to gets us into distractions, and when we force ourselves to not indulge, it makes us want to do it more.
Providing yourself with an identity of the kind of person you aspire to be, like a non-smoker, a non-distractible person or someone who is sober and calm, provides a narrative for you to focus on.
The more you tell yourself what kind of person you are, the more it turns out to be true.
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Many people use to-do lists without considering the amount of time it takes to complete a task.
Practice "timeboxing" your schedule: assigning a maximum amount of time for an activity. It can help give context and limits to ambiguous tasks.
A simple way to accomplish this is to manage the notification settings on your smartphone.
Try turning off personal email notifications. Unless social media is part of your job, consider turning off notifications from apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter during work hours. Designate a specific time during your day to check personal communications.
People get tired of their surroundings and a spruce-up can boost their energy and creativity.
Moving furniture or going to a fresh place can help your productivity.
Plan ahead for the week, month or year when you are energized and feeling motivated, for better results for getting stuff done.
Minimizing or removing distractions is a great way to keep your productivity high, and it goes beyond just smartphones.
The root cause is our emotional discomfort and a need to be distracted.
Plan your day calendar reflecting your values, and stay on the tasks at hand.
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