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Friday
Feb092018

6 ways to reclaim focus

How can one be busy all day long and not get anything of significance read, written, or simply done?

By being lured by the siren's call of technological distractions.

Image result for sirens' call

I have consciously undertaken steps to reclaim larger portions of my day in order to complete tasks that require sustained focus. Here are some things I've done...

  1. Cleaned up my social networking contacts. I've deleted the "over-posters" on Facebook, the "over-Tweeters" on Twitter. Just eliminating a couple of obsessive posters has freed up 30 minutes, I am guessing, a day. And I don't miss the idiotic quizzes, cat videos, or other click bait. I've cleaned up my blog feeds in Feedly to only educational writers.
  2. Defined more rigidly how I use social media. I use Facebook only for recreation/entertainment; Twitter only for professional use. 
  3. Thinking harder about "need to know" vs "nice to know" vs "entertaining." It's pretty easy to succumb to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when reading bloggers and other social networking posters. I know I really don't need to know "All the New Emojis That Will Clog My Keyboard in 2018" but deciding to read "How to Delete Your Twitter Timeline (and Why You Should)" gives me pause.
  4. Limiting the devices by which I access social media. I whacked all social media apps on my iPhone. (Thanks to Control Your Phone. Don't Let It Control You from Common Sense Media for the inspiration. Now instead of flicking through Facebook when eating or bored at a meeting, I open my Kindle app and dig into an actual book. 
  5. Refused to jump on each social media train. I don't Instagram. I don't SnapChat. I look at LinkedIn rarely. I don't need to use the latest and greatest or use all available. 
  6. Limit the number of times each day I open social media sites. Once before breakfast, once before bedtime is my goal. Except for Twitter which I see as professional networking.

I am afraid that email is still my biggest "squirrel!" problem. But I find turning off notifications on my phone and on my desktop apps and just leaving the email app CLOSED goes a long, long way. If only I could find a way to keep others from emailing me with work... Hmmmm.

How do you reclaim your sustained focus on tasks? How can we help our kids manage their time if we as adults struggle with the same problems? Or is it impossible in today's world? 

BTW, been whining about this since 2012. My god, I am a slow learner!

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Reader Comments (3)

Preach it brother!

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKenn Gorman

One thing that helps on Twitter is turning off some user’s retweets. Some people are good and judicious retweeters and that may be why I follow them. But those are few. Most folks, I want their original thoughts but have no interest in their retweets. Really cleaned up my feed.

February 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Hi Jim,

Did know I could follow someone on Twitter but turn off only their re-tweets. Have to figure out how to do that. Once again, I need a Twitter for Dummies manual!

Thanks,

Doug​

February 10, 2018 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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