If there’s one thing that destroys productivity and progress more than anything else, it’s distraction. And unfortunately, we live in a time where we’re faced with dozens of distractions at any given time.

The single most effective way I’ve found to combat this is also the simplest: use the “Do Not Disturb” toggles on your tech.

Smart phones and computers—the two biggest culprits of distraction—all have “Do Not Disturb” features, either built-in or available for download. If you’re serious about getting quality work done and taking back control of your day, “Do Not Disturb” is your friend.

Hitting the DND switch on my Mac and iPhone for spurts of focused work has made a HUGE difference in my productivity at the office. On days where I forget to do so, I’m *constantly* interrupted by text messages, push notifications, phone calls, and the like.

If you’re expecting an important call, or want to make sure calls from children or family can still get through, you can customize your Do Not Disturb settings (iOS, Android) to allow just that.

Beyond using the DND feature on your devices, you might also consider turning off push notifications on as many apps as you feel you can. I turn all new-mail popups and sounds off on my computers, I’ve deleted email from my phone entirely, and I only allow a small number of apps to send push notifications. This is all surprisingly freeing, as I now check in on these apps on my schedule, rather than the apps’.

The next time you’re needing to buckle down and get some quality work done, give DND a try.

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