Over the past 10 years, I have secretly obsessed over time management and productivity. When it comes to work output, I’m usually the team member that can produce the most amount of work with the least amount of time invested — perhaps Stephen Johnson was the only person to ever beat me in productive output.
I’m now in the process of consolidating all of my learnings into a framework that can work for anyone. I’d love to try my framework on you. Will you join me?
Today I will give you step 1 of my framework: Zap the distractions.
Although I’ve continued to improve my productive output over the years, I realized that recently my head felt quite disrupted and cloudy. It started with the 2016 presidential election and carried over to Q1 2017.
I found myself constantly checking the Washington Post, NPR, Facebook, and Reddit for all of the latest political news. This constant phone-checking then pushed me to check Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Instagram more often.
Pretty soon I felt like a teenager constantly checking my feed for how many people have “Liked” my posts.
This had to stop.
If Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube continued to live on my phone, then I knew there was no way I was ever going to break the bad habit of constantly checking my social channels.
I therefore deleted all of the social media apps on my phone.
I would like you to do the same.
What if you need access to social channels for work?
I too use social channels for work. I now consciously choose to access my social channels on my laptop exclusively.
Don’t you miss important updates from friends?
No. I still have all of my messaging apps on my phone. If my friends need me, they know how to find me.
Isn’t deleting your social media accounts quite extreme?
Yes, that is quite extreme, but quite different from what I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to remove the social media apps from your phone. This will help you in breaking the bad habit of checking your phone every time you feel lonely or bored.
You can still access your social feed on your laptop.
Unsubscribe from everything
I’m going to get you to inbox zero.
Trust me, it feels so great to have a clean inbox:
Haha, looks like I’m at inbox one because I’m saving a coupon code from Oil Can Henry’s.
Getting to inbox zero is a process. We’ll get you there by the end of my framework, but for now, all I want you to do is to unsubscribe from EVERYTHING.
Be absolutely ruthless about it. Unsubscribe from Facebook alerts, Instagram alerts, and every email newsletter you’re subscribed to.
What about alerts from my work tools?
I still get email alerts from JIRA, Trello, and other tools I use for work. Basic rule of thumb: if it’s important for work, then continue to subscribe to it.
That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll take you to the next step of my framework.
If deleting your social media apps from your mobile device gives you anxiety, ping me on Twitter from your laptop (not from your mobile). I’m here to help.