4 Quick Things To Eliminate Electronically That Will Bring Focus To Your Life

4 Quick Things To Eliminate Electronically That Will Bring Focus To Your Life
I sat down at the computer to write a blog post. I had an hour to work before my youngest woke up from his nap and I had a series of thoughts I needed to write down. When I opened my computer I had 2 software programs that wanted to check for updates. I exited them before they had a chance to start their auto-check. The first thing to come up on my browser is my email and of course, the 10 new emails drew me in- I needed to respond to a client, a friend had emailed, multiple emails were in my promotion folder, I didn’t even bother looking over those. Before I could click over to my blog, I heard a facebook chime alerting me that someone had messaged me. It wasn’t long before I realized I only had 20 minutes left to get that post written out.
Does that sound familiar?

We all use media throughout the day, and little split-second annoyances are something we often procrastinate dealing with because we have a goal in mind when we’re online: anything from checking our bank balance to emailing family to catching up on work email.

How many times have you sat down to accomplish something, and end up spending 45 minutes at the computer, forgetting to get that one thing accomplished?
By taking a few minutes to take care of these things today, you’ll eliminate dozens of distractions every day, giving you more focus and patience for what really needs to get done.
4 quick things to eliminate electronic distractions:
  1. Eliminate Unnecessary Scans and Updates. Antivirus- I’m looking at you. Uninstall it so you don’t have it popping up and interrupting you anymore. (NOTE: You do need some antivirus to protect your computer. But if you have installed something better, the older programs need to be removed.)
  2. Eliminate Never-ending Sales Emails. Go into your promotions folder and unsubscribe. And while you’re there, do a quick search for that address and then delete all the emails from them, clearing them out of your inbox for good. Unroll.me is very helpful in unsubscribing from many emails at once.
  3. Eliminate Noisy Notifications on Your Phone. Some people are even turning off notifications for texts, and certainly emails. The average person checks their phone 50-70 times a day, the majority of things can be dealt with then. If you are worried about missing something important, tell those people to call you (rather than text or email) and when the phone rings, you can take care of it.  Not having your train of thought interrupted by an alert for email, instagram, or texts allows you to be more productive.
  4. Eliminate Sleep-Stealing Blue Light. So many of us catch up on email or check social media on our phones or computer right before bed. For the iPhone user,go into Settings, Display and Brightness, you can select Night Shift and the hours you want and it will turn your screen backlighting from blue light to orange light. For android users there are apps like f.lux, which adapts your screen color, dimming and warming it towards the evening and brightening it up for day use.  This will allow you to still read on your tablet without the harmful effects of blue light.

It’s easy to brush things aside that “we’ll deal with later” and when does later ever come? For most people: never. Life seems too busy to take time out and deal with these little annoyances. But these little annoyances are not only taking minutes from you each day, they are distracting your mind and stealing your focus.
How much writing would you get done if you only had a screen and keyboard? No options of notifications or updates?
How much easier would it be to balance your bank statement without a program popping up or chime begging you to see what someone said?
Take some little steps to simplify your life today and you’ll find that your focus will be more complete in the task at hand, you’ll get it done faster and you’ll have more free time to spend doing something you enjoy. And if what you enjoy is checking facebook updates- well, then do it without a to-do list in the back of your mind. 😉
More productivity hacks:
Be The Most Productive Person Possible
How To Create Free Time


About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I created a FREE Facebook Group - feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group and I share videos each week on YouTube


  1. Sarah Jo on 05/31/2016 at 1:58 pm

    I gave up Facebook about a month ago and it has been great! I spent a lot of time trying to make sure I read and saw the things that friends were posting but not truly connecting with anyone, got off task to read random articles, and wasted mental energy considering things to buy (or spent money needlessly on random items).
    My next step is to stop looking through the”Explore” tab on Instagram and turn off notifications for emails, which I never thought was that distracting until you pointed it out! My husband was encouraging me to find ways to relax without using my phone but it seems easier to pick it up and check some things rather than opening a book.
    I have four small children that are distracting enough and managing our home takes most of my energy so I should avoid other energy drains as much as possible!

    • Rachel on 05/31/2016 at 3:47 pm

      Good for you! I put “News Feed Eradicator” on my browser, so I could get on Facebook and do what I need to with certain pages and groups, but it minimized getting sidetracked with random things. 🙂

      • Sarah Jo on 06/03/2016 at 6:05 pm

        I haven’t heard about this! It would be useful for a couple groups I follow.

  2. Kate on 06/02/2016 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for including blue light! It’s an epidemic people don’t realize that not only affects sleep quality but also our overall health and ability to do things like fight cancer! Melatonin is a “master signalling horomone” to signal clean up and repair, and blue light keeps it shut off…people don’t realize there screens have as much blue light as the mid day sun, so it signals to their bodies they will be awake for a number of hours (which is also why people get hungry again later at night!)….and they miss out on the ramp up of melatonin production as well as cause depletion of certain types of cells in their eyes that lead to disease down the road.
    Can you tell I am passionate about this, lol? You knew all this, I am sure, but adding info so people who aren’t familiar begin to comprehend the importance.

    • Rachel on 06/02/2016 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you Kate! People do need to know more- that is helpful!

  3. Gayle on 08/17/2016 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you for this post. The subject is an area I need to address and I will be looking into your suggestions.
    Since the subject is electronic clutter, may I respectfully add that the pop-up screen to subscribe (which came up more than once) was distracting and annoying as I was trying to read your advice.
    My decision to follow a blog is based on content not prodding.

  4. Angela G on 08/27/2016 at 2:23 pm

    It’s so true!!! It seems like you’re just doing a couple of quick maintenance/messaging things and somehow the whole hour is gone!!! I really need to work on this.

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