“I don’t have a second life. Every second of my life counts.”
I remember my first smartphone. I was excited as I was unboxing my HTC Desire HD.
I installed the Facebook app and so many other ones. The red notifications and the buzzing sounds made me excited.
Soon I was addicted to them for my hit of dopamine.
Fast forward to 2016. I was completely hooked on social media apps and Netflix binging.
I spent so many days of my life scrolling aimlessly from one feed to another. Then, as I was starving for that dopamine hit, I threw away my most valuable asset: my time.
At work, I was an email addict. So the outlook app icon was the first icon I would click on the minute my work laptop had finished starting.
I would leave the email software open all my working days. I would juggle between notifications from my personal phone and my work laptop.
Work was done, but not in the most efficient way.
Personally, I was agitated. I was not moving in the direction of self-improvement or making an impact.
In life, there is a price tag for everything and everyone. Often, we only think about money.
Yet often, we pay with our time, which to me is more valuable than money.
Before we explore the ways to reclaim our time and our focus, let’s deep dive into the biggest heist of our era.
Notifications are stealing our time and our focus.
We lose at least 2 hours per day being distracted by notifications:
- Notifications by emails.
- Notifications by our phone.
- Notifications by apps.
We might think that 2 hours is nothing compared to 24 hours a day.
This is true until we learn that we need at least 20 minutes to get back to our state before being disturbed.
So the solution is before our fingers. And more and more companies are giving us some tools to reclaim our focus and our time.
The 3 pillars of reflection and how they impact our being.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I would have spent a lot of time trying to explain the benefits of those 3 pillars.
After more than one and a half years of lockdown, working from home, travel restrictions, and social distancing, we all have had a taste of it.
We can all give personal examples of how these 3 following pillars have shaped our world during and after the pandemic:
SILENCE — We all appreciated the silence of lockdown at some point. We might not have done it deliberately.
Yet being able to tune down the external world, literally, is the best thing that ever happened to our generation.
No more excuses of being busy just for the sake of it; now we can sit and reflect all together as one Humanity.
SOLITUDE — Most of us, Humans, are social animals. We want to live in packs, connect with other people, share some experiences.
Yet, sometimes the sound of solitude is more powerful than the loudest party we will ever attend.
Is it frightening? Solitude?
Absolutely! When it is not a deliberate choice.
Yet be it monks or so many people with different walks of life, we all have enjoyed one day alone, just us, by us.
STILLNESS — The universe has been singing for billions of years. Unfortunately, most of us have just been replacing that symphony with the noise of our “modern” world.
We are afraid of stillness. We want to fill every void with our noise. Just because we don’t hear the music does not mean that it is not there playing.
Stillness is the sound of outer space. Stillness is the equilibrium state of water. We must embrace it and welcome it into our lives.
Every week we need to schedule a meeting with each of the entities: silence, solitude, and stillness.
The 5 steps to kill notifications so that we can live right here, right now.
These five steps, when implemented daily, can give us back our time.
Right now, the biggest heist is the one we invite willingly to hand over our life to our smartphone.
Implement these 5 steps and come back from the walking dead:
- Kill all the notifications.
- Be hard to reach.
- Isolate yourself from the noise.
- Batch checking your emails at specific slots during the day.
- Batch checking your smartphone social feeds during breaks or lunch break.
1. Kill all the notifications. — Not all the time. But if you want to produce something of value, you need to summon your attention. Energy goes where attention is.
2. Be hard to reach. — If you are easy to reach, people will always get to you to solve their issues. So make sure that one day a week at least, you are harder to reach than POTUS.
3. Isolate yourself from the noise. — Create your bubble of tight focus. Make sure that everybody knows that you are in focus mode. Then, enjoy the sound of silence.
4. Batch checking your emails at specific slots during the day. — Yes, sometimes, all our work is about emails. Yet, you don’t have to answer emails as you breathe.
5. Batch checking your smartphone social feeds during breaks or lunch break. — Disconnecting from all social platforms is not good advice. Because we all crave connection and belonging, yet we can also decide when we are on those platforms and limit our presence there.
Silence, solitude, and stillness can help us maximize our time, hence our impact in this world.
By applying the five above steps, we can be more and do more.
We can cut our chains to our phones. We can reclaim our time to live AFK (Away From the Keyboard).
YOLO — You Only Live Once. So make it count.
What are your tips to be more focused?
How do you feel about silence, solitude, and stillness?
How often do you unplug from the matrix?
Leave a comment below.
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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership
You can read my previous article on How full is your dash: this is the only dash cam you will need to live a life worth remembering. (Friendly link)