I mentioned before that I use an Apple Watch.
I love how it allows me to be alerted of reminders and set timers and communicate with my client teams.
It keeps me in the know.
It keeps me connected.
It allows me the time to jump fully into a task without checking the clock because I know the timer will go off exactly when I set it to, and I won’t be late for that client session.
Funny enough, I resisted getting an Apple watch for many months.
Now it’s one of those devices that has me saying, “How did I ever live without it?”
Sort of like we say about smartphones and social media and text messages and all the technology.
Truly, the level of ease my Apple watch has put my mind at is fabulous.
Until it’s not.
That’s to say, that yes, there are times where I feel pulled in the wrong direction by it.
By this little device that I chose to attach to my wrist.
I chose it.
We feel the pull to our attention to whatever device is dinging the loudest.
Whether that’s your watch, phone, computer or … pick your interrupter of choice.
So I tried a little experiment one day. What if I chose to take back control.
I didn’t want to simply take my watch off, since I really like how it gives me the ability to track my activity, like steps and standing. I didn’t want to miss out on that tracking data.
Ok, what else?
I turned my watch to Do Not Disturb, so that all notifications would be silenced.
No dings or wrist pings for one hour.
It was so freaking liberating to know that with 100% certainty, no alerts were going to come through my watch for the next hour.
I felt like a kid who might get caught stealing a cookie from the jar. “Can I really do that?“
But really, it gave me the permission I needed to NOT feel like I had to be a slave to whatever it was that was vying for my attention – new emails, Asana task alert, Facebook notification, Voxer message from my assistant, Slack reminder about a team member’s message, client voicemail about travel plans.
I’ve started turning my watch on Do Not Disturb on the regular, probably 3-5 times throughout the week.
I get to make the decision of where my attention goes throughout the day.
You can too.
Think of the instances you’re feeling that pull, where you’re thinking, “I just don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to hear that notification. I don’t want that alert. I don’t want that information. I don’t want to be ‘connected’ right now.”
You have the power to decide how accessible you are to the interruptions.
And, if you need permission to put yourself on Do Not Disturb from an hour during the day, consider this your permission slip to take control.
Now, I’d love to know, what is one small step you can take today to start taking back control of your business day?
What can you put on Do Not Disturb for one hour tomorrow?
Photo by Katie Barrett on Unsplash