Recently, CJ and I went to Ouray, one of our favorite mountain towns in Colorado.
As we were hiking their popular perimeter trail, a notification went off on my phone.
I have almost all the notifications on my phone turned off and so when I get one it’s usually important. Therefore, I took the phone out of my backpack and looked down at it while I continued hiking.
At that very moment, I stepped on a rut in the trail and rolled my ankle.
I knew it was an ankle sprain right away because of the pain and instant swelling. Thankfully we were able to take a shorter route back to our hotel where I could elevate and ice it.
Distractions that Kill Our Productivity
I sprained my ankle because I was looking at my phone.
It was definitely a lesson for me in mindfulness and paying attention at the moment. Instead of walking and checking my phone, next time I will stop before checking my phone. Or I’ll wait until we’re done with the hike to check my notifications.
Writing with all our notifications going off around us is one way we sabotage ourselves.
It’s a silent productivity killer.
And sometimes these notifications are not so silent. LOL!
As we get into a writing flow, we get a notification and decide to check-in for a few minutes.
It’s then difficult for our brains to constantly switch tasks as we check Facebook or email and then try to write a few more sentences.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Freedom does not mean yes to everything. There will be a lot of no’s.
You can set yourself up for success by turning off a majority of your notifications and checking in when it’s best for you.
Most of what is interrupting us all day, every day, can wait. It’s not urgent. Our brains tell us it is urgent, but believe me, it can wait.
One of my business coaches often reminded me that I’m not a neurosurgeon. I don’t need to be on call and available 24/7.
If it takes 24 hours to reply to an email, social media comment, or text message; people will not die.
When you’re writing, I encourage you to turn off all your notifications and distractions and allow yourself to be in the moment.
Do it!! I double-dog dare you.
You will see your productivity go through the roof.
Setting boundaries with the notifications on your phone and computer will bring you freedom. You’ll be able to stay in your writing zone longer and hear God’s voice more clearly.
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)
- Think back to the last week. What were your biggest productivity killers? Be honest and specific. Was it Netflix in the afternoons on your iPad, Facebook on your computer all day, notifications from text messages on your phone 24/7?
- What is one small step you can take to set yourself up for writing success? Again, be specific. For example, I will delete the Netflix app on my iPad and reinstall it only when I have free time to unwind. I will log out of Facebook on my computer when I sit down to write and use the Focus app to prevent me from logging back in. I will text those who contact me often and let them know I will be writing for the next 2 hours with my phone in airplane mode.
- Now do it. Take the step today and then the next day and the next. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! (Phil 4:13)
I promise you, taking these super small steps will help rid you of the silent (and not so silent) productivity killers and help you reach your writing goals.
I also understand that this is difficult to implement and most of you will not be ready for these action steps.
But, if you are, please comment below and let me know what steps you are taking so I can cheer you on.