Have you ever been motivated to reach your goals and two seconds later get distracted by a social media notification? Before you know it, two hours go by and all your motivation is lost. Let’s face it, the world is becoming more digital every day. Nearly everything we do in our daily lives revolves around using a computer and checking our smartphones. It’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the digital world and become unproductive and unmotivated because there are so many distractions that take us away from achieving our goals. There’s no doubt technology has made the world better as a whole, but sometimes we need to take a step back and rekindle our focus. Here are five ways to stay focused and productive so you can reach your goals in our ever-growing digital world.

1. Write On Paper

Yes, paper still exists. In fact, paper is a great way to brainstorm your ideas and take notes the same way you would on a computer. Writing on paper stimulates critical thinking because the act of writing is slower than typing and allows the mind to focus deeper on the content. Your mind will actually take the time to process the information and bring out your strongest ideas. Paper is a blank canvas ready to be filled by your deepest and most creative thoughts. If you have lost your sense of focus, lock yourself in a room with nothing but a pen and paper for an hour and you will surely be more productive.  

2. Read a Book

Fewer things in life are more beneficial than reading a good book. Not only does reading capture your focus, it also provides fresh ideas that can motivate you to succeed. Studies have shown there is a strong connection between reading and improved concentration. The idea is that if you can keep your brain focused for longer periods of time, you will begin to train your brain and have greater focus for other activities. It’s also important to read from a paper book and not an e-reader. The feel of paper is completely different and taking your eyes away from the screen will help you relax.

3. Keep Your Phone in a Different Room

Phones provide countless benefits but they are one of the biggest distractions, preventing us from being productive in this digital world. The best way to stay productive and maintain your focus is to keep your phone in a different room. It’s so easy to develop the habit of checking your phone even when there are no notifications. Constantly checking your phone is a big distraction that takes away from your productivity. It is even more important to keep your phone out of the bedroom to get a good sleep. An astonishing 71% of Americans keep phones near the bed. Using a phone at night reduces melatonin resulting in poor sleep. If you are looking for success, you need to wake up early feeling fresh with no distractions.

4. Turn Off Notifications

If you aren’t willing to part with keeping your phone in a different room, do yourself a favor by turning off notifications. By constantly seeing messages appear and hearing notification bells, you will never get work done. Getting distracted from your main task is already a given, but you can begin to feel overwhelmed and stressed out if notifications keep appearing. A good strategy is to check your phone once or twice a day at times when you can afford to be distracted. The worst feeling is getting in a groove and suddenly hearing a notification. Before you know it, an hour has gone by and you lost all motivation to complete your goals for the day.

5. Develop a Routine

While it’s incredibly important to focus, it’s equally important to maintain it on a consistent basis. The best way is to develop a routine that minimizes your screen time and increases your productivity. Begin by integrating the points mentioned above into your daily routine and build on it. Try going to bed for a week without keeping your phone in the bedroom. Wake up early and start your day by writing your goals on paper. Take the next hour to read a book and let the knowledge soak in. It takes about 21 days to form a habit meaning if you can develop a routine and do it every day for one month you will see great progress down the road.

The Bottom Line

Technology has provided countless benefits to the entire world and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It’s simply amazing people all over the world can communicate with each other and share information with the click of a button. Where technology begins to hurt is when people get distracted from achieving their goals. We all have big aspirations in life but we need to work hard to see them come to life. Any small diversion can have a large negative impact on where you want to be in the future. Take technology in your own hands and use it the right way, so you can stay focused and productive in today’s digital world.