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Get Distracted No More: Disable Automatic Alerts from Social Media

Get Distracted No More: Disable Automatic Alerts from Social Media

Distraction

    I have the attention span of an ADHD goldfish off of its Ritalin, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Well, OK, I am a little ashamed, but shame doesn’t make it any less true. This is why I have to go the extra mile when I work to make sure all possible distractions are at least reduced, something that is hard to do in a job requiring the procrastination-encouraging Interne, not to mention my mobile phone and other potential threats to my focus.

    We have to overcome these distractions for the sake of our collective productivity, not to mention our general sanity and ability to relax, both of which can be badly impacted by technology. Just think of the stress that could be avoided by getting away from the little phone chirps when you get a phone message or the alert telling you of a new email.

    Last year, Dr Larry Rosen wrote an article for Psychology Today titled ‘Rewired: The Psychology of Technology.’ He and his team found that the average middle school student was focused and on task for only three minutes at a time when studying. That is a startling figure, showing how intensely distracted they were by their smartphones, computers, and other technology.

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    If we were to look at ourselves and our peers, it is almost certain that adults would suffer in much the same way. While you would hope that the older generations would have greater discipline to fight off procrastination, we all know that just isn’t the case. Most of us suffer from the same problem, and alerts make it even worst.

    The best thing to do is shut off all notifications that automatically alert you to distractions. Which notifications cause the most issues and should be shut off?

    Disable Push Notifications from Social Media Apps (iPhone)

    Disable Push

      Here we have perhaps the greatest culprit of distraction today. People check their phones everywhere, whether they are at home or in public. You see people texting in their cars, a dangerous practice that has led to the biggest PSA campaign involving automobiles since drunk driving ads. We simply have our phones with us everywhere, all the time, and use them way too much.

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      Turning off your mobile alerts can save you a whole lot of distraction. Now comes the important part: put the phone away from you. Just because your alerts are off doesn’t mean you won’t reach for it. In fact, you may reach for it more to check and see if any alerts have come in that you missed. The temptation can actually become worse.

      I always put my phone in another room with the ringer turned on high when I am working. This allows me to hear if an emergency call comes in, but keeps me from constantly looking at it. Plus, out of sight is out of mind, so I am more focused on the task ahead of me. Even putting it across the room and out of easy reach is effective.

      To disable push notifications from social media apps, go Settings -> Notifications and scroll around the multiple options.

      App-specific tips:

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      • Official Facebook app: On your iPhone go to Settings -> Facebook -> Disable “Vibrate” and “Play Sound” options
      • Official Twitter app: No push settings to change.

      Disable push notification

        Email Notifications

        Mail

          I have a notification addon set on Firefox that tells me every time I have an email from any of my accounts. It then lets me click on the button to be taken to that particular account, keeping me signed in, even when I have multiple email addresses from the same mail client. It is my favorite extension I have, even more than the one that blocks all the autoplay ads on websites.

          Most people reading this probably have some version of the program, even if it is just Outlook express configured to pull all emails to the same place. They are great, efficient, and easy to use. They are also horribly distracting, as they continually let you know when anything from an important message, to a customer, to a spam message has come in.

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          Here are some tips for making email notifications from social media less distracting:

          Get A Site Blocker

          LeechBlock

            All of this is fine and good, but it still all comes down to self control. If you are really struggling to focus, why not get yourself a site blocker? Programs like StayFocused and LeechBlock are extensions that allow you to limit the amount of time you can spend on a site, or block it completely.

            You simply specify what times/days you want it blocked and how much time you are allowed to spend on each site in a day. Or try the nuclear option that locks out your blocked sites, all but your allowed sites, or even all websites for a certain number of hours you have chosen.

            Unclutter
              Declutter

              In the end, you have to make the decision to improve your focus. The very idea of how much it will improve your productivity should be enough to convince you. But if you need another reason, how about the refusal to be a slave to technology? Sure, tech advancement is an incredible boom for the human race, but we need to learn how to regulate its use in our own lives.

              Get started doing so today, with the baby-step of not allowing it to constantly distract you.

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              40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

              40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

              Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

              There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

              Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

              It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

              Productivity apps to help you get things done

              1. OmniFocus

              This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

              Download it here.

                2. Forest

                Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                Download it here.

                  3. Things

                  Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                  Download it here.

                    4. 30/30

                    Recently covered here at Lifehack

                    , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                    Download it here.

                      5. Any.Do

                      A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                      Download it here.

                        6. PocketLife Calendar

                        This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                        Download it here.

                          7. Asana

                          We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                          , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                          Download it here.

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                            8. ToDoist

                            This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                            Download it here.

                              9. FlowTasks

                              From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                              Download it here.

                                10. Calendars 5

                                This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                Download it here.

                                  11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                  A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                  Download it here.

                                    12. Due

                                    A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                    Download it here.

                                      13. Checkmark 2

                                      I use this app

                                      for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                      Download it here.

                                        14. TeuxDeux

                                        Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                        Download it here.

                                          15. Wunderlist 

                                          Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                          Download it here.

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                                            16. Nirvana

                                            For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                            Download it here.

                                              17. Priorities

                                              An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                              Download it here.

                                                Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                18. Productive

                                                With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                  You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    20. Streaks

                                                    This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      21. Remember The Milk

                                                      Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        22. Day One Journal

                                                        When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                          23. Evernote

                                                          Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            24. Pocket

                                                            You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                            Download it here.

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                                                              25. Sync.Me

                                                              This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                26. Droplr

                                                                One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  27. Dropbox

                                                                  Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    28. iDolly 

                                                                    In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                    Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      29. Soulver

                                                                      It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                        30. Captio

                                                                        A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          31. Drafts

                                                                          A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                            This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                            Download it here.

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                                                                              33. Doodle

                                                                              This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                  A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    36. GoodReader

                                                                                    This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      37. LogMeIn

                                                                                      Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                        38. 1Password

                                                                                        There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                          You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                          All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            40. Truecallers

                                                                                            Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                              Reference

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