Thursday, January 23, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 17: Distractions


Distractions.
Television.
Computer.
Phones.

They quickly and easily steal our time.
They distract us and it take time to refocus.
We're less productive when we're distracted.

What is it about the sounds coming from our phones and computers 
that makes us drop most everything we're doing and check them?
I have a secret for you...those notifications and whatever other things
will still be there two hours from now.

Here's a few things that I have found work really well for me:

Don't turn on the computer.
Really, If I just don't turn it on I'm more like to be productive and focused.
I do not turn on my computer before the kids go down for rest time.
It causes me to be more engaged with my kids and my husband.

Turn off the ringer.
But what if I miss a phone call?!
Here's a couple of options for you.
1) That's what voice mails are for. Let them leave a message and you can call them back.
2) Try an app like SmartActions or SmartAssistant to set certain numbers to ring through.
I have it set so my husband's phone and work phone always ring through but really everyone else can leave me a message.

Turn off notification sounds.
Facebook is one of the ones that really distracts me personally.
I hear that little notification sound and I just have to check it.
I finally turned the sound off.
Now I don't hear it and guess what my notifications will still be there
when I have time later.

Put your phone out of sight.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Almost.
Even if I put my phone somewhere to not be looking at it all the time,
it still calls me to it. Our culture and society have become obsessed with technology.
And while I don't think technology is bad it can consume us if we let it.
My husband bought me one of these for in the kitchen.
It has a little stand and the port to plug in my phone into it.
I put my favorite Pandora station on and am able to leave my phone alone.

Only check your email once a day.
My inbox is overwhelming right now.
Between spam, old subscriptions, and attempting to actually read the things I do want I could spend a ton of time on email alone.
So check it once a day and only spend a certain amount of time doing so.
I plan to use this to help me weed out stuff I no longer want to come into my inbox and thus spend less time weeding through item by item.

Now obviously if I'm going to manage a blog, run an etsy shop, and network I'm going to have to use the computer, the internet, email, and social media.
Like I said I don't think they're bad things.
In fact we have a lot of technology in our home.
I might even be slightly embarrassed as to just how much technology we have in our home so I just won't admit how many computers,phones, and other devices we have.
But we have to remember to be wise with our time.
There are lots of great apps, browser plugins, and other tools we can use to manage our online life.

StayFocused is a google chrome add on that you can
control the amount of time spent on websites.
Know that twitter or facebook suck you in for hours?
Set a reasonable time limit.

I also heard of a fellow blogger (I wish I could remember who right now)
who only uses her laptop off of the battery. She charges it over night and during the day whatever battery life she has is the time she gets to be on the computer.
Once it's dead it's dead.

There are also tons of other apps and what nots you can use to help your productivity.

I loved this post on the internet and holiness.

Today I want to challenge to you shut the technology off.
Put on some good music and see what you can get done.
I bet you'll surprise yourself.
And guess what...it'll all still be there waiting for you when you're done.

Spend some serious time decluttering an area of your home.
Figure out what items you might need to get to organize it better and make a plan.

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