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Are you addicted to notifications?

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If one thing will slow down your career progress, it’s notifications. How? Keep reading to find out.

Years ago, most likely around 2007, I was reading an article about focus and how notifications from sources like email, MSN, and ICQ (yeah, I’m a Boomer) were massively affecting our focus. The article referred to a study that concluded that every time someone who is focused gets distracted, it takes them about 30 minutes to get back into a focused state.

This was 15 years ago. You can only imagine how bad it is now, and so far, nothing will change that. On top of the various notifications, there are tons of distractions out there from apps like TikTok, Instagram, and more.

Knowing that we get multiple notifications every hour, when can we ever focus? Let’s get real for a second. Watch what you’re doing in the next hour after reading this, and be honest with yourself. Are you able to stay focused for more than a couple of minutes? Most likely, no.

So far, I’m 15 minutes into writing this post, and let me share with you what happened so far. I got 3 Slack messages. I can hear my wife talking with the dog. Then, she showed me a gadget she saw in an ad. I’m not blaming her whatsoever, that’s just life now. Luckily, I’ve been aware of this for the past 15 years and can refocus within seconds.

How can you improve your focus? Well, you can’t, technically, be focused for 8 hours a day. If you’re serious about this process, you’ll take it one day at a time, one minute at a time, and look for continuous progress.

For the first week, try to make yourself focus for 30 minutes a day. Tell everyone around you, turn off your phone, and challenge yourself to follow through. The following week, go up to 45 minutes, then 60, and so on, until you are satisfied. It’s that simple.

If you can improve your focus even slightly, you’ll have a significant competitive edge since most of your colleagues are distracted all day long. That, my friend, will skyrocket you to career success in no time.

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