How to Cut Down on Digital Distractions and Up Your Productivity
As a real estate professional, staying tethered to your phone and computer are likely par for the course. When your office is on-the-go and you’re fielding round-the-clock questions from clients, it’s only natural that you’ll be drawn to your phone for professional updates. From refreshing your inbox and engaging with clients on social media, to drafting email blasts and coordinating with colleagues by text message—it can feel impossible to untangle yourself from the worldwide web.
As a professional, you may not be able to withdraw from the digital world completely, but there are a few techniques you can use to limit your extraneous digital distractions and streamline the time you spend online. After all, it’s entirely common to faithfully begin one task and then get unexpectedly drawn down the digital rabbit hole. To save yourself time and virtual burnout, here are a few ways to unplug, recharge, and make the most of your time online and off.
- Focus on one digital task at a time.
While multi-tasking may seem like a sound approach to productivity, this method usually results in surface-level progress across a few tasks, rather than reaching the finish line on any. Instead of opening multiple tabs and trying to do it all at once, hone in on one digital task at a time. Have emails to return? Allocate an hour to work exclusively on this to-do list item. Need to post a new blog entry? Pencil in a dedicated half hour. If you focus on one task a time and exclusively devote your energy and productivity to it for a set period, you’ll make a far bigger dent in your list of duties for the day.
- Give yourself a curfew.
In the real estate business, the hours may seem never-ending, but if you don’t want to slow your productivity with fatigue, you’ve got to set some boundaries. Try setting up a digital curfew for yourself and put your phone away after a certain hour. Devote an hour or two before bedtime to time away from your computer and your phone—read a book, prep your lunch for the next day, or try a round of mindful meditation. Carve out space and time to disconnect from your technology and stick to the habit. By morning, you’ll be refreshed and ready to dive back in.
- Mute social media notifications and create dedicated check-in times instead.
Instead of taking a reactionary approach to social media—waiting for the dings and pings that lure you back to your screen—try muting some of your social media alerts and instead dedicate three timed windows per day to check-in on your timelines and engagement. If you’re constantly interrupted at unexpected intervals when someone likes a post or leaves a comment, your whole workflow can be derailed. Instead, unchain yourself from the instant gratification of responding to every buzz and beep your phone emits. Systematize your professional social media life and you’ll stay organized and on task.
- Keep your inbox organized.
While it may take some time and effort to create a sorting system for your email inbox, it can go a long way to limiting distractions and stress. Create folders and an organizational flow and every communication will have a place and a priority. That way, when you open up your inbox and have to go digging for old emails or exchanges with past clients, you won’t have to waste time sorting or feel overwhelmed by the clutter. If everything has its place, you’ll have an unobstructed, streamlined canvass to conduct business from.
Digital distractions don’t have to derail your day or sap your productivity. Email, internet, social media—all are tools to be commanded. With the right planning, understanding, and consistent execution, you’ll be able to wield the power of each without the downside of distraction.