How 23 Minutes Can Change Your Life

My phone tweeted & chimed & buzzed & sang all day long, alerting me about

  • texts
  • Messenger
  • Facebook
  • weather
  • email
  • Groupon
  • Phone calls

Phone buzzed? I’d salivate, pick it up, & satisfy my hunger.

Sooooo easily pulled away from writing a blog, doing finances, or having a conversation with a human being.

I noticed it would take me a while to get back into the groove of my work or the connection – the flow, if you will.

A little research showed me it takes about 23 minutes to focus again if you’re toggling between tasks.

In other words, if you’re in the flow of working, talking, connecting, or creating…


…and you pick up your phone to see why it’s flashing, beeping, or buzzing…

…it will take you about 23 minutes to get back to your original flow state.

Do this only 3 times a day, and you’ve wasted about an hour!

Starting to see where your time goes every day?!

Are you one of those amazing people who can multitask? If so, you’re saying, “This doesn’t affect me, Jen. I’m not like that.”

[I would argue with you – maybe even rant at you – but not here. That’s for a future post and a couple of cocktails.]

Instead of arguing, start to notice how many times a day you pick up your phone just to see what’s going on. Who contacted you & what they want.

How many times a day? If you’re like me, it is a LOT.

A real frickin’ lot.

My device had hijacked my time.

Imagine standing in line at a coffee shop. One barista’s on duty. You’ve been waiting a looooooong time. Just as you’re about to get served, her phone rings!

She frickin’ picks up the call! And helps that person on the phone – for 23 minutes – before getting back to your needs!

THAT’s what we do to ourselves on a daily basis! We let every text, message, buzz, ping, pop, and call IN to our lives.

Each time we do it, it takes TWENTY-THREE MINUTES to get back to where we were!

Every time you let someone hijack your time & energy when you haven’t allotted time for it, you have lost control of YOUR time.

Just because someone has deemed it important to contact you right now doesn’t mean it’s a good time FOR YOU.

  • You do not have to answer EVERY TEXT the moment it comes in.
  • You do not have to respond to EVERY MESSAGE right now.
  • People contact you when they need you. When they think of the concern they have.

That’s normal! I’ve texted my hair colorist on Sundays – I know she isn’t working – but I don’t expect her to get back to me until Tuesday. The day she works.

[Which is exactly the day I will forget to call her & make my appointment.]

BUT every time we answer people immediately, we train them to think, “This person is available to me at any time! I can always expect an immediate response.”

The more you do it, the more you steal from YOUR life.

Someone else’s request is not an emergency for you. Someone else’s time frame is not yours.

I know you’re telling yourself, “But there might be an emergency. I might miss something.”

I hear excuses like, “I have to check my phone all the time. I have kids. I have a business.”

Yes, I know. Me too.

Seriously, in all the years of all the texts and distractions, WHAT percentage would have actually been LIFE CHANGING if you missed?

Which news notifications? Which Facebook alerts? Which missed Groupon coupon would have altered your life?   This week, think about who you’re letting into your life, virtually.

How are you letting your phone steal your flow & suck the time out of your day?

Changing this is a practice in presence & restraint. Could tackling make your life better?

Go for it! Share your thoughts & tell me your tricks!

We can all use some help in this department – present company included!

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