(778) 668-9320 scott.dawson@verico.ca

This blog post started from a Tweet.

My Monday, just like every other day, is probably just like most others that are self employed. It’s starts with making a coffee or tea or whatever gets you going in the morning. The next thing you probably do is reach over and pick up your mobile phone and check email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest…… you get the point. Our time, as soon as we wake up is no longer ours. It continues throughout the workday and into the weekend. Isn’t being self employed fun? How many times a day do you look at your mobile phone just to see if that little light is flashing with a new notification? If you’re like I was, probably too much.

Why I switched off

Some time ago I made a conscious effort to switch off. I was too consumed by work. I started by unsubscribing from email newsletters. That gave me some freedom with my inbox. Next, I stopped checking my work email until 8:30-9:00am which is when I arrive at the office.

Instead, I catch up on my RSS news reader. I catch up on both mortgage related articles from my favorite sites and also read up on other things that interest me.

By the time I’m ready to open my inbox I find myself focused and ready to start the day. You should try it! Reading blog posts on RSS might not be your thing but why not read the newspaper, a business book or listen to a podcast?

An Invitation to Switch Off

Ready to take more of your time back? Try switching off those pesky things we’re no longer reading or cause us to loose focus throughout the work day. Do we really need to be notified of every tweet or Facebook post about us? Most likely it can wait. Here’s how to get rid of the notifications on various Social Media sites. Why not try catching up on Social Media on your time instead of theirs?

Here’s how to change the various apps that fill our inbox with notifications and pop ups reminding us on our mobile phones:

Here’s where to change your Facebook notifications.

Here’s where to change your Google+ notifications.

Here’s where to change your Twitter notifications.

Here’s where to change your LinkedIn notifications.

While you’re at it try turning off that sound that your phone makes when you get a new email or text message. It’s the best thing I ever did. You should try it!

What else can I do to switch off?

Put your phone down. I’m writing this post in Starbucks. Sitting across the coffee shop is a couple enjoying coffee together. Wait. Nope, they’re both consumed by their mobile phones and instead of focusing on a conversation with each other their eyes are constantly glancing down at the table with their phone sitting on it. Next time you’re out socially with a friend try putting your phone in your pocket. Turn off the ringer, turn off the vibration. Spend 20 minutes in a conversation.

Schedule your time

I just got back from a week vacation. The kicker is most clients and associates probably didn’t know I was away from the office. Sure I changed my voice mail to an out of office, but the majority of my business is done through email these days. I didn’t put an auto responder on my email though. Instead, I scheduled reading my email. Since I was very busy on vacation (mostly laying in the sun) I found that checking my email 3 times a day worked great. I’d check it in the morning, during lunch and one last time at 5pm. Did my business suffer? Nope. Not one bit. I’ve begun working like I’m on vacation all the time. Emails don’t need to be responded to instantly all the time. There are exceptions, but if something’s really pressing in my business clients and associates know that they can pick up the phone and talk to me.

It’s amazing how much of your time you can get back for more productive things when you choose to switch off. I encourage you to try it for a week.

An Invitation to Connect

You made it this far. Thanks for reading! This blog is just one place where you can find me. If you want to connect somewhere else that’s more convenient for you here’s where you can find me.

scottdawson.ca – I blog here throughout the week. You can subscribe via RSS here.
My Email Newsletter – Don’t worry it’s not a rate sheet. You can join here.
Follow me on Twitter – I’m there quite a bit. Make sure you say “Hi” when you follow.
Circle me on Google+ – Still figuring out the Google+ thing but feel free to learn with me.

If you don’t connect that’s ok too. I understand. Enjoy your week!