In this video, Dave Crenshaw shares how to protect your focus by avoiding app addiction, limiting what you install on your mobile device or computer, and calculating when to upgrade technology.
- Occasionally, people will ask me, "What app should I install, Dave?" And what they're looking for is a way to improve their productivity, to get more out of their day. However, my answer surprises a lot of people which is very often, "None." Most people already have the apps and the tools and the programs that they need to be productive. And by constantly switching from one to the other, they lose a lot of focus and time.
Here are a few steps you can take to determine whether or not it's the right time to make an upgrade or install a new app. First of all, before you upgrade anything learn how to use what you already have. The good news is with your subscription to this library, you have access to so many tutorials to help you get the most out of the tools that you have. Also, you can take some time to look at a manual if it came with it. These little investments in learning can have big gains in productivity and don't really cost you anything.
Second, when you have a specific need then get a specific app or upgrade. A lot of people just like to install all sorts of different apps or they want to get the latest and greatest phone, or whatever it is. Avoid this kind of random approach. It's like shooting a shotgun all over the place. Instead, have specific times and know exactly what you're trying to get and then find an app for the need. Third, pick a lane. What do I mean by that? I mean pick one kind of operating system, one kind of brand that you use, and stick with it.
This will make it so much easier for you to learn how to use the tools that you have and avoid a lot of switching costs when it comes to learning different ways different things work with each other. In other words, if you're comfortable with using Microsoft stick with Microsoft, or if you're comfortable with another brand, stick with that brand. This is help you maintain focus. Now to this point I've said basically, "Don't install anything." Yet a two percent increase can equal an entire work week of productivity every single year.
So how do we know when to make this upgrade in a way that doesn't hurt our focus? This comes down to how long it's going to take us to recoup the investment in terms of time and money. So the fourth step is to use the one month, one year rule. This means we want to make up the investment within in one month, and the gain that we're going to get is going to last us at least one year. For instance, what if there's a new phone that just came out and it cost us $500.
I would have to consider how much I'm making per hour, how long it's going to take me to get and learn how to use this new phone before I make the investment. It may surprise people to learn that someone like me, who preaches about productivity and loves technology, is still using a phone that's about three or four years old. Why? Because I haven't seen the justification in terms of time and money to make the upgrade yet. These digital improvements can improve your productivity if you use them wisely and slowly, but most of all, make sure you do it in a way that protects your focus.
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- Maintaining focus for longer periods of time
- Using your calendar to preserve focus
- Building a mental firewall
- Establishing expectations and boundaries
- Making time for others
- Avoiding distractions in a digital world
- Improving your workspace