“No more phone for a week” my mum said.
She was very disappointed: I was a pretty average student.
The deal was that I would study for that test in a week, and if I got a good mark then she’d give me my phone back. At the time, phones weren’t even that distracting. But you know, I was a young teenager and I felt that if I stopped keeping in touch with friends for a moment I would be sucked into a black vortex and stop existing.
It was a tough week.
But actually, studying was easy.
I didn’t have to block out distractions or fence off temptations.
I passed the test.
In fact, I did really well.
Nowadays, when I want to accomplish something, I become my own strict mother. Whenever I work on an important task, I plan it all out and then…
I turn my phone off.
This one’s easy. You don’t need your phone most of the time.
Especially if you’re creating something meaningful. And if you do (say, you’re shooting a video or using an app), DND and airplane mode will be there for you.
I use a website blocker.
Willpower just isn’t enough. Plus, I’d rather save it up for what matters.
So I use a tool called Freedom to block distracting websites and apps, like gmail, Instagram, and (if you’re into that) the news…
If you try to access them, you’ll see a green screen telling you to wait until your timer expires: GET BACK TO WORK!
I don’t allow myself to start what I cannot finish.
If you’re about to get lost in a big task, DO NOT read information you’re not going to action. Especially if you’re going to block it in a minute.
It’s just going to play with your mind and distract you.
When I feel extra intentional, I even map my week in advance: think about it as “fun homework”. Here’s how to map your week and finally take action on all those key activities you keep leaving behind.
Be your own tough mother, and you’ll get everything done quicker and better.
And then you’ll have plenty of time to play.