Limit Your Sources of Information
Things are hopefully starting to become a lot more simplified, streamlined and organized for you at this point and you should have a much better handle on all the tasks you need to complete. But there are still some sources of concern which include all those things that keep distracting you and trying to rob you of your focus.
And in particular, one of the biggest culprits are all those ‘screens’.
All the information and stimulation coming from the TV, the smartphone,the laptop and more are constantly keeping us ‘wired’ and stressed.
We’re on constant alert for messages (so much so that we feel ‘phantomvibrations’ in our pockets sometimes!) and we can hardly go more than fiveminutes without feeling the need to load up some form of technology. Thisisn’t healthy and it’s certainly not conducive to productivity.
So what do you do?
Here are some ways to limit all that information and data coming in…
Pick Some New Hobbies
For many of us, every hobby that we have involves a screen of some sort whether it’s gaming, watching films or using the computer. There’s nothing wrong with this per say, but it sure can stress you out over time and lead to burn out if it’s all you’re doing to relax.
To avoid this situation then, make sure that you have some hobbies in your life that don’t involve screens and that require sustained focus and attention.A good example of that would be reading.
Reading a book not only offers a reprieve from the screen but it also means that you need to stay focused on that one thing for a good amount of time. Instead of flitting from one information stream to the next, your mind is completely focused and relaxed. This is actually almost like meditation.
Another good example is drawing. Drawing is a very relaxing hobby and you’d be surprised just how much pressure it can take off of you and how time flies when you’re enjoying it. And you don’t even need to be ‘good’ necessarily.
Going to the gym or playing sports is also good and so are things like DIY, bird watching, walking… anything where your phone stays in your pocket. And then make sure that you abide by this rule and keep your phone away for this duration.
Again, if you’re really worried about missing something important then considerusing a smartwatch. Or perhaps just setting ringtones for priority callers.
Perhaps the most meditative hobby you can take up though is... meditation! Meditation is simply the act of taking control of your inner monologue and using it to bring your mind to a calm.
Different forms of meditation work differently – mindfulness vs. transcendental for instance – but they both offer the same benefits.
Not only is meditation shown to be very good for us in the short term by helping to encourage slower brain waves, but it also provides tools for combating stress and staying focused as necessary.
Have Quiet Time
The point at which your phones and computers become most destructive is in the evening. Not only do screens stress us out but the light itself also causes the release of cortisol – which acts against the release of melatonin. In other words, our brain treats a phone screen just like natural sunlightad prevents us from getting into a sleeping state of mind.
There are many solutions to this – some of which get quite ridiculous and include things like wearing blue blocking shades to bed. Really though, the most effective way avoid light from screens before bed is simply to stop using computers and phones for at least an hour before you go to sleep.Let your friends know that you’ll be doing this, or even consider setting up and auto text response that is triggered after this time (Android apps likeTasker can help you do this).
And better yet, use half an hour to read a book or something before you doze off. This will quiet your mind and help you to get deeper sleep once you actually do hit the hay.
And hopefully it should go without saying that when you get home at the end of the day and are off work you do not answer any emails that are related to work. Don’t even look at your work email – it will only prevent youfrom properly relaxing and enjoying your time off!