Get off your phone!

Why do we expect our kids to comply with our demands when we need their attention, but don’t apply the same rigor ourselves when we need to focus at work? Smartphones make us distracted and prone to mistakes. How can we detach ourselves from this fi fth limb?

When a task is wearing you out, whether a little or a lot, it’s tempting to let your mind wander off to something more pleasant… and that something that is never very far away. Your smartphone – an uninterrupted flow of gratifying, amusing, light (and often uninteresting, if we’re honest here) distraction. And while you wander, real life continues.

Perhaps during the summer break, you made a firm resolution to be less addicted to your false social prosthesis so that you can be more focused and efficient at work – and suddenly you notice that a feeling of serenity has come over you. The subject is not new, and Chris Bailey has identified 7 strategies that he has implemented and shared in his last book. Here are my favorites: 1) Turn on Airplane Mode and forget about it. 2) Define which device is for entertainment only, and use only that one for that purpose. 3) Clean up your apps and get rid of the ones that don’t really serve a valuable purpose other than to distract you… 4) …Or create a specific folder for all of these hypnotic apps so that you only use them because you decide to, rather than because they sent you tempting notifications 5) Hardest of all, when you are in line at the supermarket or waiting for an appointment, learn to enjoy having a free moment without going online. Frankly your mind is better off “shoveling clouds” than catching up on the Kardashians’ Instagram feed.

Learn more: Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction , by Chris Bailey, (Penguin Publishing Group, 2018).

To go further: See the TED talk: “Chris Bailey: A more Human Approach to Productivity”