I ‘miss’ a lot because on my phone and laptop I keep the notifications off. And the sound. I can’t stand the ding of a new e-mail or text message arriving, or the ringing of an incoming call. Because I have enough distractions that I’m trying to manage on a daily basis, notifications — especially for social media apps — are the last things I need to add to the chaos.
As I reread Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, I know that my struggle to truly embrace and apply the concept of deep work in my life begins in my mind. While my social media use is down considerably, when I go long stretches of not being on it I can’t escape that feeling that maybe I’m missing out on something. But am I really missing out on something that, even when I’m using it, I’m not fully engaged with?
Notifications off … it’s a starting point and, ultimately, the key to me doing more deep work and regaining focus in this distracted world.