Unplug yourself6:26 PM
Imagine a day when you wake up and have big ideas, a lot of work and the drive to get this Epic creative thing going.
You start your day right, with a big breakfast, go for a power walk to get your energy flowing, down the right amount of caffeine and feel ready to tackle it all.
Oh yeah! Bring the Epic crap on baby! I'll rock this day!
You sit at your desk with your to-do list that involve a couple of things to do on the computer before moving to more artistic work.
5 minutes into it, your phone bleeps. You check it. It's one of the million WhatsApp groups you are involved in that comes to life. You mute it and go back to what you set yourself to do.
10 minutes later, you muted a few more groups on your phone because no you really don't care about all those "Good Morning" memes that hog storage space on said phone.
Thinking of meme, suddenly has you run a Google search for "motivational memes" that end up going nowhere...except wasting a solid 30 minutes of your time...all because WhatsApp distracted you in the first place.
You come back to your senses, rein yourself in, and go back to the task at hand...YAY!
Just as quickly as you got that drive back, the doorbell rings with its usual stream of "something-wallah" who want your trash, your clothes, or you to pay a bill of one kind or another.
Those you can't really mute, so you interrupt yourself for them even if they came to your home at 10 am with the assumption that if someone opens the door that means this someone has nothing important to do in their day.
You get back to work, only for your god damned phone to bleep again. This time it is your Facebook friend saying hi.
Because you are at home and Messenger on the phone pretty much sucks, you log in to Facebook on your computer...and poof! The epic plans for some super duper productive creative stuff has vanished...for good.
It's past 11am, you are scrolling through your feeds liking every cat videos and meme it has to offer all the while chatting with your friend.
What was it you had in mind to do when you woke up?
You decide to log off because you feel hungry, fix yourself a quick lunch, notice the kitchen is messy, clean it up, move to the living room to eat only to spend more time decluttering than eating (and then watch some TV).
The epic project of the day refuses to come back to your mind and before you know it, it is time to pick up the kids in school, get dinner ready and suddenly remember at 11pm what it was you wanted to do in the first place!
Have you been there?
If you work from home, I can bet that the answer is yes.
Why you may ask? Because I have been there way too many times before I realised that my culprit was my stupid phone and all it's notifications.
But guess what? It's not hopeless, the remedy is actually quite simple, it's called :
Turn off all notifications
I know, it's a crazy idea in our world where we apparently need to be constantly connected to a crowd of friends, colleagues ore acquaintances (if not near strangers).
But dare to do it! I urge you to do it, you have no idea how amazing your day will be. Turning all the notifications down will still let people being able to actually call you (who does that anyway?) and you will be spared the mindless WhatsApp chatter of "Please forward this message a 100 times if you don't want to get bad luck" or "Please tell me what the latest school circular says, I can't find it".
Turning down the phone's notification is just one step less extreme than the "Switch off your phone" trick but equally efficient.
For extra precaution I even took to not take my phone to my desk. I leave it in the living room where I can still hear it ring should it do so. And then, I can get started on that epic crap I had planned to do in the first place.
There are the distractions you can't really control, but the things that come from your phone are totally manageable, even if society at wide wants you to believe otherwise.
No you do not have to be accessible by all 24/7!
So, how do you keep yourself from straying away from the task at hand?