What do you do when your phone vibrates?
When you hear that bling?
Even if you don’t immediately grab your phone and read your notification, it ripped away your attention from whatever you were focusing on.
Do you know how often your attention is disturbed in this way every day? These small perturbations add up. They disrupt our moment-to-moment awareness. And when you do deep work, it takes several minutes every time to get back into your task.
Notifications also train your brain that context switches are okay. If you allow notifications to disturb your workflow, it becomes easier for your brain to justify other distractions. Each notification feeds your instant gratification monkey
So you not only loose the immediate moment, and the minutes it takes you to get back to your task, but you also train your brain to become even more distracted in the future.
The way to break free from this is simple: turn off notifications. When working, reading a book, watching a movie, cooking, or going for a walk: turn your notifications off.
And when you want to work: close your email program (or tab), set Slack to do-not-disturb, and put your phone in another room.
Managing your attention not only increases your productivity. It also calms your mind and increases your mindfulness.
The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. – Jon Kabat-Zinn