Healthy boundaries help you focus on what matters most. They serve as the framework to focus your efforts, harness your energy, and recharge your batteries.They help you honor your decisions and make it easier to follow through by helping you to recognize and accept the need to focus your full and undivided attention. Digital boundaries should help you emphasize meaningful and respectful connections with other people and prioritize [due] respect during face-to-face meetings.
Interruptions can add up. According to estimates based on a recent UC Irvine study, refocusing your efforts after just one interruption can take up to 23 minutes. That same study found that the average worker switched tasks on average every three minutes. That’s a lot of lost time and energy. Yet when it comes to your digital lifestyle, priorities and focus areas fall prey to pop-ups, notifications, and messages.
Here are four fundamental digital boundaries that you can put in place to stay sane and productive.
1. Screen your phone calls — unapologetically
It’s that last part that’s new. Let’s frame what an unexpected phone call is in the modern age. It is an unscheduled request for an impromptu audio meeting. As a busy person, you have a right to decline such an invitation and honor your priorities. You can and should do this without hesitation, and without a feeling of guilt or shame. You can only do one thing at a time. You have little to no obligation beyond your own guilt to be immediately available to the rest of the world. You don’t need to hire an assistant to feel at peace as you manage and triage incoming meeting requests.
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