Focus: Time to Step Away
Practical Steps for Focus in Daily Life
In my previous post, we discussed how we are living in a world of information overload, and how it is high-time we put up barriers for ourselves. We must set boundaries for ourselves because we need to train the flawed and selfish monkey mind from doing what it wants. We must train our attention with the various tools that are right within our reach because clearly, we are unable to do it ourselves. Today, I want to share some useful tools that I use to filter information in my day-to-day life, especially when I am always ‘online’. All these tools are forms of ‘filters’ or ‘blockers’ that you too can use to limit information. I promise I won’t keep you too long.
ON the Web
Site blockers are amazing. I’m not talking about the ones that you use to stream movies not available in your country. I’m talking about the ones you can use if you’re continuously checking in on WhatsApp Web or Facebook Messenger.
Cold Turkey (MacOS & Windows)
Just download the free version of this app on your laptop device. It’s so simple to use. You can basically block any website, page, application, or even distracting Google searches.
Of course, there is a pro version with a scheduler, that allows you to set days, times, and all that good stuff. I assure you, this is not a sponsored ad, but the one-off payment is only £30 for this amazing app. But again, there are more options…
Self Control (Haha, only for MacOS)
Oh, the joys of being a Mac owner! This is a free application. You throw in all the sites, turn it on, and done. For the time set, you cannot do anything. Nothing. Even if you delete the app, restart your Mac, anything, the sites will remain block. Cruel, but amazing to tame the monkey.
ON the Move
I think most of us are victims of information overload with the devices that fit in our palms. Before we look at specific apps that will be useful, go into your phone settings, and turn off all unnecessary notifications. Trust me, most of it is unnecessary. Have you heard of second-hand smoking? That’s what notifications are – attracting everyone’s attention and making everyone cough.
Turn off those notifications and sounds, and those little red circles that are specifically designed by the attention-geniuses to keep you hooked. And, if you’re one of those people who have your backlight flashing every time you get a notification, I wish you luck in life. Stop the compulsive clicking, nothing is as urgent as it seems.
You don’t have to, but I always keep my phone on silent. I have a scheduler on my Mac, so I know if I have any calls or meetings scheduled. I may seem like a narcissist here, but if I don’t need to hear from you, why does it matter?
So, about limiting usage of apps. iPhone owners have it easy, as Apple has implemented features in their latest software, allowing you to temporarily block apps, or to set time limits.
For those of you who use Android (lol), Google’s Digital Wellbeing app is similar, but not with as many options. When I looked into this app, I found that there is a specific feature that allows you to set a ‘bedtime’, thereafter your phone becomes ‘blocked’.
There are plenty of apps for Android. Take a look, but get it done. Oh, and also… don’t download some dodgy apps from Chrome.
OFF We Go
Just some finishing thoughts… if you fear you will miss out, you need a wake-up call. The truth is, we are always missing out. We just need to choose what we decide to miss out on. With the constant stream of unlimited information hitting us from all directions, it’s scary to think how people’s mental and physical health will be affected in the next decade itself. Remember this.
In our lives, 90% of the experiences happen right here, right now. In front of our very eyes. They are the best moments, they are the ones that we truly remember. It’s all about quality over quantity. No cliche.
Also, while you are here, check out my audiobook now available on Audible.
Okay, now I don’t want to eat into any more time of your ‘focus’, so it’s time to log out. Get started. Join me on this journey in eliminating information, because after all, we do not want to eliminate the monkey.
Stay tuned. Stay connected - to the right things.
Signing out with prayers and gratitude,