Do Not Disturb


When I was in college it felt like I was most productive doing homework while a movie played in the background. Maybe that was true for the time, but not anymore. When I need to do my best work, be it creative or highly productive, it requires my full attention.

But sitting down to focus on a task isn’t even enough. Maybe it takes a few minutes to really get the gears turning, or even if creativity starts right away, there’s a chance momentum can be broken. A text message comes in: Ding. A new email. Ding. Someone commented on your photo. Ding. All those moments add up to significant time, and more importantly, broken concentration.

Our human nature is such that it can’t ignore those alerts. You may resist checking them, but if your phone makes a sound, it’s too late. Your brain has already added a task to the cue that won’t leave until you respond to that text. So next time you need to do your best work, put the phone and all your devices into Airplane mode. Maybe even turn off the Wi-Fi. Eliminate any chance for distraction, and start creating.