a simple step towards focus

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
– Zig Ziglar

“I just need to focus.” How many times have you found yourself saying that under your breath? It’s a phrase that used to be with me constantly. It’s much less so these days (but still there sometimes).

Here’s one simple step towards focus, away from letting others pull at your direction on any given day…

Turn off notifications.


On your phone, your tablet, your computer, everywhere. No sounds, vibrations, icon badges, or banners letting you know you have new email. Nothing popping up with a preview of what has just come in.

No alerts about new tweets or likes or comments. Take control back from the many, many things vying for your time & your attention. Set a time block in your calendar for when you are going to check email & social media. Outside of that time on the calendar, you have other things to do.

Are there sometimes exceptions? Sure thing. If there’s a person whose email you must look at right away, you have options. In iOS, you can make him/her a VIP and set separate notification rules. Not on iOS? Lots of other options, including IFTTT (Google it!). There’s always a way to make an exception. Just don’t make so many exceptions that you’re ignoring the general rule.

You have control over your own focus. Don’t give that power away to others. Keep your direction in the time that we all have. Turn the notifications off.