5 iPhone Features To Minimize Distractions at Work

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You are working on a project or task with a tight deadline and suddenly, your iPhone buzzes with a notification(s). We are humans and we have the tendency to lose attention on something easily. Turns out notifications on your iPhone from social media to emails to calls from XYZ or just memes, we usually get distracted easily. Although it may not sound too serious but you have to understand, that losing attention at work tends to reduce productivity, and that brings the consequences of not meeting the deadlines or lack of quality and clarity when accomplishing a task.

The question is, what can you do to minimize distractions at work? You can simply turn off your iPhone till the end of the task at hand. However, it means you might lose on certain important work or personal updates since your phone was unavailable. What do you do? 

Well, I had a similar situation and to be honest, most people will have the same case. Turns out there are a few ways to minimize distractions at work powered by certain iPhone features that we will be discussing next so stay tuned.

Keep the Home Screen Free from Distractions

When you hold your phone, the more apps there are on the home screen, the more distracted you will feel. Phone usage is often an unconscious behavior meaning you will easily get distracted when apps are in plain sight. The best way to curb this situation is to remove certain apps from the home screen keeping apps that are worth the screen real estate. Here’s how.

  • Spot the apps on the home screen that keeps you distracted.
  • Long press on the particular app and tap on ‘Remove App’ once the option appears on-screen.
  • Select ‘Remove from Home Screen’.

What does this do? When working at the office (or at home), remove apps that keep you distracted and often, these are non-work-related. Removing such apps will help you feel more confident in meeting deadlines.

Turn On the Grayscale Filter

Psychologically, app UI is designed to grab your attention and keep you engaged. This is why Instagram allows you to endlessly scroll because we as humans will scroll. Similarly, memes, stickers, emojis, food recipes, and text bubbles among others are simply the galore app developers use to loop you in.

With Grayscale Filter enabled on your iPhone, it will magically turn the screen black and white. What this does is, the screen turns less fancy than it was earlier. Even though you can access absolutely everything, you will see that the grayscale filter will make it less fun to use it in the first place. 

To enable grayscale mode, go to Settings on your iPhone and proceed to Accessibility >> Display & Text Size >> Color Filters. Next, toggle it to ‘Grayscale’. You can toggle it again to turn off the grayscale mode at will but at least, you should feel less distracted when the mode is engaged. 

Engage Work in Focus Mode

You can set up Work in the Focus Mode on your iPhone. The mode promptly blocks all unimportant and unnecessary notifications and calls (and yes, people receive a lot of them) when engaged. It does, however, let you attend important calls and access work apps with ease.

You can set it up via Settings >> Focus >> Work. Drilling further, the app has two options ‘Choose People’ and ‘Choose Apps’ that you can set to continue receiving notifications, calls, and updates while snoozing everything else until you aren’t done with the task at hand. I would recommend going to the ‘Customize Screens’ section and setting to Home Screen or Lock Screen to show nothing since if you can’t see it, you are less likely to feel the temptation to open that app with a few notifications.

If you are working for fixed hours or can schedule it, there’s an ‘Add Schedule’ button that lets you turn on Work Focus mode and turn it off automatically.

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Check Screen Time To Limit

Scrolling on Instagram before you can wake up from your bed, that unconscious habit of taking your phone everywhere you go, endlessly scrolling on social media, watching reels, and YouTube videos, etc, these may not sound like much but they take a huge chunk of time. Even if you count 2 minutes of social media every hour, that’s like 48 minutes of social media a day which adds up to 24 hours of usage per month and that’s just the minimum I am saying. 

You should make it a habit to check your screen time every week or so. You should be able to tell whether you used your phone this week or the previous one with all the data available. Screen Time on iPhones allows you to check which app you spend the most time on. The app is packed with features including ‘App Limits’ which lets you set time limits on apps you use the most such as social media or entertainment.

Navigate to Settings >> Screen Time >> App & Website Activity >> Turn on App & Website Activity. Back up a bit, go to App Limits >> Add Limit. Whenever you end up using an app for about the pre-set time, you should receive a notification from Screen Time requiring a password to reset or revoke. Additionally, you can block specific websites on Safari browser to limit your exposure as they might distract you in the long run. 

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Apps To Minimize Distractions

Just as you would use the above-mentioned techniques, there are apps available on the App Store that can help you minimize distractions. For instance, Opal is a free-to-use app that has shown positive results in terms of increased productivity, better mental health, and fewer distractions. It sends you a personalized report detailing how much you use your phone and where. It then restricts access to certain apps based on how you set it up to minimize your focus on those apps.

Flora is another app on the Apple Store that lets you create a to-do task – a quick way to get things done without forgetting them. The app uses seeds to denote tasks and every time you focus on those tasks, the seeds grow and similarly, if you move out of that app, the tree coming out of that seed will die.

OffScreen on your iPhone is another app that provides statistics on your screen time and where you spend most of the time. Its paid version has some advanced statistics to educate you on where you spend most of your time including walking while using the phone or remaining stationary, etc. You can set timers on apps to go off when you are overusing them just like Opal. There’s also a My Off Time feature that lets you snooze notifications from apps spread across categories such as Creativity, Entertainment, Games, and Social, prompting you to focus on what’s important to complete your work.

Download: Opal | Flora | ScreenOff

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