The real distractions

12 April 2013

A few years ago I was obsessed with productivity apps. I was using a Pomodoro timer and an app to block the internet traffic to my laptop for whenever a Pomodoro timer was running. I thought that the biggest distraction were sites like Facebook and Twitter.

I used those timers for quite a while but stopped using them because there was no big improvement in my productivity…

Now a few years later I found out what is actually causing the biggest distraction for me. It’s not some website I decide to go to. It’s the involuntary distractions that keep me from working! Those distractions are also called notifications. More and more apps implement some kind of notification to inform their users. Email, calendar, Facebook, Skype (etc) they all added badges, sounds or other visual notifications to alert you of new “important events”.

Since a while I switched off all those notifications on my phone and my computer, this resulted in a pretty big increase of productivity! I even disabled the badge for my email client, now I only check my email when I have time for it, not when new mail arrives, and I must say, that feels much better!

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