1. My phone is always on “Do Not Disturb.” I recently switched from a Pixel to an iPhone, and their DND is even better.
I don’t know if I have any new texts unless I manually unlock my phone and then go to the home screen to check the icon.📱
I don’t get pop-up notifications on my phone for FB Messenger. I have to manually open the app.
Same for Slack – I don’t get updates from Slack unless I open the app on my phone.
I can’t remember the last time I had kept the ringer OR vibrate on for my phone. It’s been several years. My phone is always silent.
2. I say “F*[email protected] YOU” to Desktop Notifications.
Honestly, when I’m talking to somebody on a Zoom call and hear their Slack desktop notifications go off, it makes me cringe. I can’t imagine constantly being distracted by clicking sounds. I don’t let Slack or any other app do desktop notifications. I also keep Skype and other messaging apps quiet 99% of the time. Currently, I’ll check my Skype 1-2 times per week.
3. Start With One Tab.
If I need to use the internet while working, I open a single new tab and have that up (blank). I don’t open a new tab in a chrome window where I’ve also got FB, Slack, Gmail, etc. All that happens if I try doing research in a loaded Chrome window is that I’m going to see some (1) notification and get distracted.
4. I Tackle My Biggest Needle Mover First Thing in The Day.
I generally know what my biggest needle mover for the day is going to be. It’s usually writing copy. If I wake up at 5 am, then I start writing copy by 5:15 am. I typically go for two hours…
And I do sets of pomodoros (25 minutes working, 5-minute break).
What’s essential is that I do not check Gmail, FB, or anything else before I start working. And when I cheat and do look at my inbox, all that’s going to happen is that I’ll get distracted, start replying to emails, and waste brain power.
Speaking of FB, by the way – I generally don’t open it or look at notifications until around 10 am, or 11 am. It’s like a slot machine, every notification releasing dopamine in your brain. If you want to feel less frazzled and exhausted each day – cut back on that stuff dramatically.
5. I never read business or personal development books before going to sleep.
Pretty simple reason, they get me too excited. If I read those types of books, my head will be racing with ideas. Or I’ll feel anxious about not implementing the stuff I’m learning. So I only read stuff like history and biographies before bed.
6. I turn “soft time” into “hard time.”
If I’m going to take my daughter to the playground, I put it on the calendar and block off the time. It might sound “Type A” or ridiculous, but it makes a huge difference. If it’s not on my calendar, there’s a possibility that something else will come up and make its way onto my schedule. Once it’s on my calendar, it’s treated the same way as any business call or meeting. It happens.
7. I wake up early A.F.
This isn’t for everyone. Each person’s body and rhythm is different. I’ll just tell you that since I started waking up at 5 am, instead of 7 am, my productivity, happiness, income, and effectiveness all skyrocketed as a result. But only because of the habits mentioned above.
Note here too – 5 am is a ballpark. Some days it’s 4:30 am, other days it’s 5:30 am.
I would highly encourage anyone who feels like they are struggling with effectiveness to try some of these out.
I swear that just minimizing notifications and digital distractions is especially profound…
If you do it, it’ll absolutely transform your life.
P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link