- Turn off non-vital notifications – remove non-essential apps and turn off notifications unless really necessary (yes,really necessary).
- Make sure you get the notifications that really matter – Ask yourself the question ‘In an emergency, whom do you want to be able to reach you?” – probably just immediate family, a few close friends and your children’s’ school. Assign them a special ringtone so you can keep connected with those who really matter – the rest of the world you can keep at arms’ length.
- Fight the phantom gadget syndrome – try not to carry your ‘phone right next to your body so that you don’t interpret a strange noise or sensation to be an incoming text – put it in a bag or outer pocket to create some boundaries.
- Remember to breathe – when we check emails or wait for a page to reload we often hold our breath, this creates an evolutionary signal for anxiety. Considering how often we check our screens – that’s a lot of stress!
Maybe it’s time to start regaining control of our full attention, we could be missing out on some great things in real life, including connecting fully with others.
Acknowledgements to Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of ‘The Distraction Addiction’.