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Feeling Busy and Distracted? It's Not Your Fault

https://maketime.blog/article/feeling-busy-and-distracted-its-not-your-fault/

maketime.blog

Feeling Busy and Distracted? It's Not Your Fault
But you are the only one who can fix it All illustrations by Jake Knapp from our book Make Time You've got a new email from your boss, plus a dozen old ones that still require a response... Your frie...

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Feeling busy

We live in a distracting world, and it’s not getting any better. We are constantly bombarded with new information.

It's natural to think we need more discipline or willpower to resist the onslaught of distractions. But self-control is a function of circumstances, and willpower is a myth. We need to create an environment for good decisions.

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Acceptance of distracting technology

Technology companies work hard to create products that bring convenience and delight. In turn, they benefit when we use these technologies more.

Our willing acceptance of distracting apps and our culture of constant busyness shows how normal these things have become. So, feeling busy and distracted is not your fault. However, you can take up the responsibility to change the defaults of distraction and busyness.

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Remove distracting apps

Remove distracting apps

The smartphone is the simplest and most effective way to reclaim your time and attention.

In contrast to hacks like disabling notifications, removing apps cuts the distraction where it starts. The app is still available, and we can still use it and check email and read the news, but we can do it on our terms.

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Log out and change passwords

You might find your computer's web browser just as hard to resist.

Create a barrier to distraction. For example:

  • Change your passwords for your top distractions.
  • Choose random passwords that are impossible to remember.
  • Put the passwords in a password manager app.
  • Log out of all your websites.
  • Remove all bookmarks and shortcuts to these sites.

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Proactive with your time

We should think proactively about what we're making time for.

Choose a highlight for your day. Maybe it's an activity that brings you joy, like a long walk or cooking a meal. Perhaps it's an accomplishment at work. Thinking about what you're making time for can create the motivation to set new habits.

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Cluttered digital lives

Cluttered digital lives

If people's physical lives were anywhere near as cluttered as their digital lives, their kitchen sinks would be full of dishes, their closets would be jammed, and their houses would be in chaos.

Become a Digital Minimalist

We can reclaim our time and our attention. Unlike a physical space, we can wipe the slate clean in our digital environment.

If you clear apps from your phone, nothing will happen. You can always reinstall the ones you use.

Digital Declutter

  • Clear your browser history.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, podcasts, blogs, and anything else you consume.
  • Delete all the apps that are currently on your phone and desktop or laptop (as long as you don’t have to buy a new version of anything).

Benefits of workplace collaboration

Employees can share resources, swap perspectives, and boost each other’s creativity.

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Downsides of collaboration

Collaborations can be unproductive, time-wasting, and a strain on top employees.

Collaborative organizational structure can drain people’s time and resources, wherein employees are “emailed to death and meetinged to death."

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... (or delegation), it helps to know where everyone’s expertise lies. 

Make sure your employees get to know each other, whether that happens through group lunches, coffee breaks, or informal social events. This also builds trust — a vital element for successful collaboration.