The Bane of Productivity

“If you’re like most people, you don’t need an enemy to interrupt you. You already have one: a perpetually distracted you.”

This quote is from Carey Nieuwhof’s book, At Your Best. In it, he mentions how the average user touches their phone 2,617 times a day and how the constant bombardment of notifications fills your schedule up, leaving you scrambling to get your own stuff done. I’m sure we’ve all had a time where we’re “in the zone”, getting important stuff done left and right, when we hear a ping or feel a phone vibrate. We may just glance at the little notification that pops up, but it’s too late. The zone is gone, and we’re left hopping around from one thing to another. 

As more and more work is done online and/or remote, it becomes harder and harder to find a distraction-free environment. The very tools that have created the ability to be more efficient are the same ones hindering that productivity. I myself have been guilty of working on something and receiving a notification that sends me down one rabbit trail after another. 

Fear not, though! There is hope. If you’re an Apple user, you may have heard of their latest software update, iOS 15. In this iteration of their software they promote a new feature called “Focus Mode”.

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This feature allows you to set up a number of custom modes for different situations such as work, personal, sleep etc. You are able to choose not only which apps send you notifications while the mode is activated but also which contacts are allowed through via call or text. For example, you could set up a work mode that mutes notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. but allows notifications through from your work apps like Slack, Teams or Zoom.

As with most Apple features, it is pretty simple and straightforward to setup. On your iOS device, you can access it in your settings towards the top of the list. Simply follow the steps to choose the apps and contacts that can and can’t get through while that particular mode is activated.

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As Nieuwhof says, 

“When technology runs us, it can ruin us. Technology makes a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” 

Take back your time and set your own schedule! Don’t let notifications set your schedule for you.

A comprehensive guide on setting up Focus Modes can be found here.


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