If you’ve missed Part I of this post, you can read it here.
4. Implement “Digital Sabbath.”
Intentionally set time where you’ll practice “digital sabbath.” Once a month, I power down all digital devices (including my iPhone) at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening and disconnect until Saturday at noon. You can choose a shorter or longer duration as appropriate for your schedule.
It’s interesting to notice the withdrawal effects — the itch or the urge to reach for the iPhone only to realize it’s been powered off! You may feel as though time starts to pass very slowly, experience extreme boredom, frustration, or some other feeling of annoyance.
Have fun with this and treat it as an experiment! What happens when you’re without your digital technology? What does this dis-ease of digital addiction feel like?
5. Hacks For Increasing Focus
Aside from the constant connection to our digital device, the other common struggle is the inability to focus on any given task for a meaningful duration. Even as I’m typing this article, I admittedly have two dozen tabs open in Chrome and I’ve bounced back and forth between checking email, Facebook, and Twitter. We all know that bouncing between tasks decreases focus/concentration and we’re not as efficient.
When you need to really focus and dedicate all of you mental resources to a task, try one of these hacks:
- Disable email notification or better yet, close Outlook. Email is by far the biggest distraction for most lawyers. So, eliminate this distraction by intentionally disconnecting from it.
- Set a timer. Try using the Pomodoro Technique — set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a single task, undisturbed. At the end of the 25 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes. You can obviously use a shorter or longer duration. I could not have finished the manuscript for The Anxious Lawyer (affiliate link), without using this technique. I prefer 50 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes of break, but again, experiment and find what works for you.
- OmmWriter. If you need to focus and get some writing done, check out OmmWriter. It’s a stripped down version of Word, and allows you to do just one thing: write. It plays optional background music/sound and you can set it to make sounds such as raindrops with each keystroke.
- StayFocused. Available as a plugin on Chrome, StayFocused allows you to add websites and set a time period where you can’t access that site. Great for breaking the social media addiction.
- Strict Workflow. Similar to StayFocused, Strict Workflow combines the Pomodoro Technique by allowing you to set a timer (default is 25 minutes). You can add a list of websites that cannot be accessed during this “work” time. After the 25 minutes, you get 5 minutes to get your Facebook fix.
P.S.: I’m offering a free Better Lawyering Through Mindfulness Webinar on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM PST/ 2:00 PM EST. I invite you to join me!