In this modern, fast-paced life and attention-driven economy, if there’s one thing that you must become cognizant of, it’s the fact that the world around you is built to constantly interrupt you. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a focused person or not, if you don’t take charge of your immediate environment, you will be a victim of a series of distractions throughout your day.
That’s why, it’s crucial you commit to protecting your focus and turn off every single thing that could possibly distract you. “To produce at your peak level,” Cal Newport writes in his book Deep Work, “you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.”
Keep your phone in the silent or airplane mode. Turn off all the notifications. Keep it face down whenever you can so that you don’t see the screen light up. Remove social media apps. Unsubscribe from junk emails and any irrelevant text messages. Use website blockers while working on your computer. In essence, eliminate all interruptions that could rob you of your precious attention.
As tempting as they might be, you must let go of distractions and interruptions, otherwise you will always be fighting a losing battle, no matter how determined you are. As Newport points out, “Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction.”
Embrace silence and focus, embrace deep work. When you are able to single-mindedly commit to your craft for long hours without any interruptions, both the quality of work and your productivity will significantly improve. Moreover, you’ll be able to enhance your thinking and tap into previously unexplored reserves of creativity within you that you thought you never had.