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Zoning out? Hell yeah!

Some things in life can be mixed, some simply cannot. I believe that phone and productive, efficient work don’t go together.

When I am working, I need to be focused and in my working zone, which means that I filter out everything that is not necessary for my work. Often, when my friends or family want to talk to me, they have to either speak up at a bit louder tone or come directly into my field of sight. This kind of zoning out can be achieved by every single of us, it just takes a few things that you have to “give up”. One of those is your phone, but don’t put it completely away.

Why phone? There are studies proving that our phones are a great distraction to us, we want to check social media, reply to those irrelevant messages or watch videos on YouTube. I am not saying it is a bad thing to do at all, but it isn’t a good idea when you need to do some focused work, whether you are in your work, or you are at home and need to read, write, study…

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

When you are not focused, you occasionally check your phone for notifications, but you know that your phone would beep and probably turn on its display (hey, it is okay, we all do it). But sometimes it gets out of control and we get stuck watching funny cat videos or just chatting with someone who is also probably in work trying to earn money and then time flies too quickly, and we eventually realize that we haven’t done what we wanted to do that day.

How do I zone out?

  • I am the master!

It got actually easier, because I control my phone. No, I don’t want that to sound too cheesy, but let me explain. If you do have a smartphone, majority of them now have the function of “Do not disturb”. That is an amazing feature that I use on every day basis. What it does is that the phone won’t beep, won’t turn on its display no matter what kind of notification you get. The only exception is calls, when it will turn on, but it will remain silent. That’s great, because the phone will get your attention to check who is calling and if you need to pick it up, then do. But when it is just an annoying friend or someone with whom you don’t need to talk, then just push the “power off” button and you can continue working. I do use this feature and it has another great option to it. You can actually set rules for it, meaning that you can choose which contacts will push through that mode. I have set my family to push through and even when I am in the “Do not disturb” mode, calls from my family will always ring or vibrate, depending the current situation.

You can even set which applications will ring if a new notification will get through. Another rule can be that it will automatically turn on, for example during any of your calendar events that you have scheduled, or you can set the time it is supposed to turn off and turn on, such as your bedtime. This is very useful if you tend to forget this kind of things and your phone goes on during work meetings etc.

  • Clean workspace area

The one thing that I need to have is clean workspace area around me. The only things that are allowed are:

  • Phone
  • Diary/Journal
  • Clock
  • Plant
  • Coffee cup and water glass

And of course, things necessary for work (paperwork etc.). Nothing else makes it on my table. This is a strict rule and I try to clean it every day. You would be very surprised how an organized and clean workspace area can help you be more productive. The thing is, the less disturbing things you have around you, the more productive you are. If you have your favorite book on the table, it may happen that you will try to read a bit, because you want to rest your eyes from looking at the monitor the whole day etc. This way, you eliminate the disturbing elements and you can work. Of course, rest is a must, but there are better ways that have a smaller chance of eating up your time, such as a short walk, walk to make coffee etc.

  • Music

Although I don’t work in a loud environment, sometimes it can get a bit loud for my taste and it is often very hard to focus and filter out all that noise. Those who work in an office, or open-office like company, good luck with that. The thing that can help you are good earphones and non-disturbing music, such as movie soundtracks, classical music, lo-fi music etc., basically anything where there is no singing or very small amount. Spotify makes it very easy to find music that is great for focusing and working, so make sure you use that feature.

Why I do not recommend songs with lyrics and singing part? Well, if you will play your favorite songs, many of us will simply start singing along, once again losing your focus.

Those are the three main features that I recommend if you need to focus and work with efficiency and often you can last longer compared to people who don’t do this. Your mind will not try so hard to stay focused, because you eliminate the elements for it. You make it easier and then you will not tire so easily.

Thank You for reading!

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Klára Kőszeghyová

Klára Kőszeghyová

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