4 ways to keep your focus on iPhone

In this time of connectivity, it’s increasingly challenging to create a moment of distraction-free work. And as a startup founder, avoiding intrusions is even more difficult with all that stress you are facing. So, here are 5 ways to help prevent you from wandering off and keep your focus. Deep work, here we come!

1. Block notifications for specific groups or contacts

WhatsApp and its alternatives are great apps for keeping in touch with everyone. Type your message, read and respond whenever you want. But despite the flexibility, we sometimes wished we had never downloaded it.

Of course, as a startup founder, you want to connect to the outside world. But other times, you’ll want to focus on coding a new feature or work on your marketing. Getting distracted by a constant stream of notifications, messages, and responses from a specific group on your phone is something every startup founder will want to avoid.

The solution is simple: turn off the group notifications for a while. You will enjoy the calm once you have switched that button and can focus on your startup.

How to turn off WhatsApp group notifications

  • Open the app.
  • Go to the contact or group making so much noise.
  • Choose group info.
  • In the Notification settings, you can mute the group for a couple of hours, one week or always.

That will silence them!

2. Turn notifications off at the app level

It’s not just WhatsApp that keeps you from staying focused on your business. Your email, Facebook, IG or any other app can bombard you with notifications. Some are important, but most are not. So why don’t you turn them off?

Here’s how you do this on an iPhone. Go to:

  • Device settings
  • Notifications

Here, you can set the notifications for each app on your phone. Simply toggle the ‘Allow Notifications’ switch to off.

Of course, you can also turn off the notifications in each app’s settings, but this will be slightly faster.

3. Have the notifications delivered as a summary

Do you have FOMO? Afraid that after a long day of working, you might miss out on important notifications that will help your startup get more exposure? Or maybe you are worried about missing customer requests.

Apple comes to the rescue with the option to deliver notifications as a summary.

Instead of interrupting your flow multiple times a day, you can choose to have them delivered to you on whatever schedule works for you. Do you want to read them during lunchtime and after work? Set the schedule accordingly:

  • Go to Settings
  • Notifications
  • Scheduled Summary
  • Switch the toggle to ON and add the times for your Summaries.
  • Then, choose what app notifications should be included in the summary.
  • Leave out the notifications you want to receive in real-time.

If, for instance, you still want to receive the weather alerts, simply don’t include them. The phone will push those notifications when they occur. The same applies to phone calls and time-sensitive notifications.

4. Set up Focus time on your devices

Big tech has discovered it’s wiser to help users block distractions and focus on their jobs, at least now and then. So most companies have implemented ways for you to easily do that. Enter Focus Mode.

Focus Mode (or simply Focus) goes beyond blocking app-specific notifications. It puts your whole device in silent mode.

The great thing is that you can choose what apps to silence and what contacts are allowed to send you notifications or call you. You can set up different types of focus to differentiate between situations. If you want to be undisturbed during the night, set up the Sleep Focus (already on your iPhone).

To set this up, go to:

  • Settings
  • Focus

More information about the focus mode is available on the Apple website.

Less distraction, more productivity

If you ask me, every startup founder should go straight to option no. 4 and block all distractions when you want to work. You can schedule the Focus blocks (more on that later), but more often, you just turn them on.

Of course, with so many things to do as a startup founder, you’ll easily forget that. So option 3, with the notifications being delivered at specific times, is a good runner-up solution to handle the stream of distractions.

Whatever option you choose, I recommend you sit down and think about what notifications you really need to see and why. In my experience, the quality of your work will benefit tremendously from deep work. It will help you launch faster, build better products and deliver better service.

So, experiment and see what happens when you turn off all notifications for a couple of hours. You can always change it back.

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