Rule the Internet!!! Or at least don’t let it rule you!
You love your work, and that’s great. But we know there’s something else you love. Always on your mind, nibbling away at your attention span, constantly, constantly begging for attention.
Well, the first step towards healing is admitting you have a problem. YES, CANDY CRUSH COUNTS! Put the phone down and look me straight in the monitor.
Okay, yes, I see the irony here. If it makes you feel better, print this out and read it at your leisure. But the fact is, in a world of time sinks, there is no time sink like the digital time sink. Between World of Warcraft (oh, that’s just for the kids? Sure, sure), Facebook, forums, and (yes) even our digital services, it can seem like your entire life might as well just be uploaded to Dropbox and accessed from there. It’s time to put the brakes on.
First thing, download an app. Okay, that’s counter-intuitive, but I wanted to see if you’re paying attention. There are multiple meditation apps available to use on the web or download to your phone, and they do serve as effective breaks from endless computing time. My favorite is the Relax Melodies app that comes with binaural beats: these are a sort of scientific white noise. One wakes you up and makes you alert, the other calms you down and gets you relaxed. Some promote a state of calm, others get you ready for brain puzzles (like doing the books!).
Set a timer on the computer so you never go more than 90 minutes without a break, whether for meditation or for a stand up and stretch. Surfing the web does not count as a break from working on the computer.
Now, download another app; this one will track what you actually do when you think you’re working.Timely is a good one. Unlike regular scheduling apps, this one actually tracks what web pages you’re looking at and how long you spend on them. Yeah, think you spent 45 minutes hammering away at the scheduling for next month? Apps like this can show you that you actually spent 21 minutes doing that, 5 minutes checking Facebook and Twitter, and the rest on email and Gchat with your cousin.
If you’re handy (and of course you are!) think about building a standing desk. This won’t replace your regular desk, but you can use it to shift physical position, which is beneficial for your mind and your body. Sometimes a breakfast bar is at just the right height for this. Studies indicate that using a standing desk helps increase alertness up to 30%, and it’s good for your back to move around. Try doing 15 minutes at a time at the standing desk, just to break up your work day and stretch a bit. Your brain will thank you.
Now, look at your phone/tablet. It’s your little buddy. Goes everywhere with you. Well, not the shower. You wouldn’t want to be parted from it, and you won’t have to be. A mobile device is an important tool for running your business. But we’re going to ask you to pare it down. Clean it up.
Oh, don’t worry. We’d never make you delete Candy Crush. We just suggest that you group related apps and bundle them together so that your screen is not jam-packed with tempting, brightly-coloured apps dancing and winking and making eyes at you, so it looks like Rainbow Dash barfed on it. Gather them into groups, eg Money, Games, Phone/Messaging, and put them in those little boxes your phone designers invented that you never used. You’d be surprised how much more efficient you feel just having done this, and it makes it much easier to focus on work when it’s work time, focus on play when it’s play time.
Naturally, you’ll want our MHelpDesk app front and center. Or at least on the top line, towards the right hand side, so your thumb can get at it.
With those simple steps you should be well on your way to dominating the digital realm.