It’s a typical work-day morning. You sit down at your desk. You have your to-do list all set. Excellent! You know this is going to be a productive day. Then you hear a little ding on your phone and a text is coming in … of course you glance on it, consider your response and respond. Next you get a Facebook notification. Oh, you have to comment on this one, after-all you’re tagged in the picture! As these real-time interactions come in, you are deviating from your plan. But what can you do – with temping texts, e-mails, and social media post notifications coming in all day? While human nature would dictate that you check on these things right away, your best bet is to fight that urge and continue to focus on the business activities that need to get done.

While it’s interesting to check Facebook, will the fact that Joe Smith is going out to lunch at Applebee’s and had a delicious hamburger, going to make you money?!! No! Does that text from your friend discussing plans for the weekend, help your business will climb to the next level? No! And it’s important to note that personal “distractions” such as these are not the only distractions. Business messages on these platforms come in all day as well. And while they cannot and should not be ignored there is a way to handle them without them steering you off your path and breaking your concentration.

Discipline is the key here. It would be unreasonable and not the best move to go all day without checking work related texts, e-mails, etc. but they do not need to be checked the second they come in! Get to work, and shut off those notification sounds, if you feel like you need to. By doing this you won’t feel compelled to check everything immediately. And put on your to-do list times when you will check, and stick to that plan. There may be times when you are waiting for an urgent message regarding a business opportunity and the like, and that is the exception to this rule. But for the most part schedule these activities like you would everything else. And even schedule in a few minutes to check your personal messages as well. By doing this you will be able to have pure focus on each scheduled activity.

By making these incoming messages part of your plan for the day, you will stop them from being “distractions” and transform them into a productive part of your everyday routine.