I got my peace of mind. In the age of white noise, everyone needs to know how to find their peace.
Here are the actions I took in last month to maintain my sanity
1) Stop the incoming notifications –
a) Don’t take unscheduled calls and meeting requests.
Scene – A colleague needs to release his frustrations, he Whatsapp’s you. You spend half and hour talking to him, to make him feel better. The consequence, is you miss out on a timely deliverable which you agreed. The client gets furious, as she has paid you upfront. You apologise and throw in some freebies.
WhatsApp is the deadliest tool of all social tools. Please mute for all notifications. I did, and I am much happier. This is not foolproof because when you need to check a important message and see 2/3 frantic messages from your friends. You are going to ne tempted to read them.
I dislike to use WhatsApp for business, but after many years, I installed it. Every client requests for a WhatsApp number. It has become the replacement for Fax. There is no other ubiquitous tool and some people who came on the internet after 2005 think WhatsApp is the email.
Enough Ranting on whatsapp.
b) Macbook –
My macbook is my place of worship, I make serious shit here, like writing this blogpost, which I decided to finish in an hour. Writing takes 30 minutes and editing takes another 45 minutes. But I will cheat on the editing time.
Macbook has a handoff feature where you see your Ios notifications plus your apps and browser notifications. Which add to the distraction to work. First thing you do is toggle to DND mode.
This is not adequate since you might still accidently go to Facebook or twitter. This could be taken care with Freedom and Cold Turkey apps. They block these websites, which might make me loose focus.
c) Three Tasks per day.
I use Focuster app to focus on one task at a time. The concept of focuster is that you can do to the best of your ability 3 task every day. In Focuster, you can list and schedule these three task and make sure, you finish them. This idea has made me
d) Ipad –
Never use multi-screen when you are working. Hide your Ipad when you are on the mac. But if you do lighter tasks on the Ipad. You need to to mute all the notification. I have muted all notification except the one’s in the notification center.
Freedom app can block all your websites, and can make you go hysterical, so I suggest you go slow, and build a separate block lists as per your priority.
e) Iphone –
I make it a point to avoid all unscheduled calls. Even if its the most trivial of conversation, I use one of my AI scheduling assistant like Amy or Cortana to set up a time for the call. This works 90% of the time. Pre-digital generation has trouble accepting this protocol. One of my friend in his 70’s, felt hurt when I told him, that you need to take an appointment to speak.
2) Psychology of Focus –
a) We get stressed when the INPUT > OUTPUT.
When the amount of work is more, then the input is greater than the output. You will get stressed. We need to deliver quality work, and one cannot do over 3 or 5 tasks per day. But our todo list which goes in the 20’s. There are also demands from Bosses and colleagues.
b) Prioritise –
This is where prioritisation kicks in. We rationalise how much we can deliver every day. I fixed mine at 3 fantastic jobs per day. You can do maybe 5. I am talking about work which needs skill and energy, not tasks like tele-calling. I am speaking about serious managerial work.
c) Put your foot down –
You choose what you can do. One cannot manage the input, but can sure control the output of your work, right? Ignore all pressures from anyone to deliver, you are accountable to yourself and no one else.