6 Tips for Entrepreneurs to embrace Digital Mindfulness
It is a myth that to succeed it is essential to be always online and to live in a constant sense of urgency.
It is easy today to remain busy despite not being productive. Why does it seem essential for us today to be always online and available? Do you feel that the legacy of an entrepreneur would be that of one who replied to emails within minutes and answered every phone call? Or do you think it is more important to work and focus on a vision?
Technology has created a toxic work culture of constant distraction and false urgency. As an entrepreneur, you still have a way to control this, and focus on what matters most. Here are six tips for embracing digital mindfulness in a chaotic world.
Start your Day Right
How you start your morning will define how your rest of the day is going to be. By checking emails in the morning, we are allowing someone else to set the agenda for the day. To control your day, start the morning on your terms.
Many people use their mobile phone as a morning alarm. Most days when they glance at the phone to snooze the alarm, they get trapped in the notifications from social media and emails. Even before they are out of bed, the mind has already out of their control.
Get an alarm clock. Stop using your mobile phone in the mornings.
It is best to stay away from the temptation to engage with your mobile phone for a few hours after waking up. Use the golden hours of the morning to prepare for the day, and to focus on the bigger picture of your entrepreneurial vision.
Tame the Emails
The emails form the majority of the communication today, but these emails are counterproductive. There is no reason to check your emails throughout the day.
Ideally, an entrepreneur can get by checking emails thrice a day:
- at the beginning of office hours;
- in the afternoon; and
- before leaving work
Scarcity creates value. If you have set time to check emails, you will be more efficient. Also, decide that when you check your email, you would take action on it and never leave pending conversations.
Another thing for entrepreneurs to do is to limit the incoming flow of emails.
- Create shared inboxes for external incoming emails.
- Discourage pointless ccs & bccs in emails.
- Use team communication & project management tools for communication within the company.
Smartphone & Notifications
As an entrepreneur, would you allow a colleague to tap you on the shoulder and command your attention anytime he desires? If you won’t let your colleague do that then why allow anyone in the world to do that through your smartphone notifications?
Notifications have now wired our brain in a way that now whenever we hear a notification we have a compulsive need to look at our phone.
- Limit the apps that have permission to send you notifications.
- Keep your notifications on silent mode at all times.
- Keep your phone screen away from your view.
Our actions define our priorities. For an entrepreneur, priority should be the focus.
Close the Tabs
It is but natural that an entrepreneur may research a lot. We tend at times to open tens of tabs while trying to get to that one answer or one information.
It is essential that during the day, you keep closing the tabs once you have completed a specific search and work. When you keep the tabs open on the computer, you are also keeping the tab open in your mind. That topic still lingers on in mind, and it has a detrimental effect on your efficiency.
During the course of the day, if you come across an old tab by mistake, there is a chance that it will distract you away from what is essential.
Call it a Day
Ending a day is crucial. To have defined start and end to a day and have a recharge period in-between is crucial. Define your end of the day time and close all tabs, send out any emails that had to be sent and create notes for tomorrow. Shut down your computer at the end of the day. Please don’t leave it on sleep mode; shut it down.
Start your new day fresh, by making a conscious decision on what you will focus on and how you will work.
Make it your Company’s Culture
Once you begin incorporating a mindful relationship with technology, you would begin appreciating how it lessens your stress and improves efficiency.
You now have a chance to create a digital mindful culture in your company. Some tips:
- Have set times for phone calls.
- Encourage single and detailed communication over a series of short messages.
- Respect others end-of–the-day time.
- Create an urgent communication channel. All other communication may be ignored after the end-of-the-day.
These tips are a great way for you and your company to take the first step towards digital mindfulness.
Authored by: Vinayak Garg, who is a writer, entrepreneur, a TEDx speaker and an expert on digital mindfulness.