Roger Patterson an EO Vancouver member, is the founder and CEO of visual marketing platform Later and co-founder of accelerator Launch Academy. Roger recently shared his thoughts on how to un-polarize your workplace by creating middle ground. In this post, he explains how he actively works against digital distraction with three smart strategies:
Twice a day—three times if I’m lucky—I reach a blissful state of focus. I shut off all notifications and settle into 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. All that matters is the challenge in front of me and my effort to solve it. My body relaxes, my mind calms, and I realize a sense of achievement from following through on a deliverable I’ve prioritized.
But these moments of focus don’t happen by accident. The sanctuary created to allow this level of deep work has to be carefully manufactured. It requires timeboxing my calendar and intentionally shutting off the army of alerts from my connected devices.
As the CEO of a social marketing platform, I understand the digital tools that keep us communicating are essential—12 million people used Slack daily in 2020, while Zoom now has a market value of US$88 billion. But left unmanaged, they harm not only our workplace productivity but our mental health. One study reported remote workers are interrupted every six minutes. Similarly, the average executive receives 46 smartphone notifications a day and touches their phone 2,617 times. Is it any wonder why two-thirds of the work-from-home workforce experience some form of burnout?
To avoid burnout and reclaim my productivity, here are three steps I take to combat digital distractions.
Set up rules for disengagement
When the majority of our time was spent in the office, speaking to a coworker came with a cost to the initiator. It involved gauging if the person you wanted to engage was busy, or in a receptive mood.