This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work

Our phones are massive distractions and keep us from engaging in deep work. Let’s fix this.

Level 1: Productive Mode

  • Turn off unnecessary notifications, e.g., social media
  • Turn off unnecessary background updates and location services
  • Remove games and unnecessary apps

Congratulations! Your battery now lasts longer.

Level 2: Warrior Mode

  • Remove social media
  • Add books to the books/kindle app
  • Add audiobooks
  • Ignore non-critical calls/texts during work hours
  • Schedule time (e.g. 8 pm) to respond to calls/texts/messages

You’ll get used to checking your phone less often and read/listen to more books.

Level 3: God Mode

  • Put your phone in airplane mode while you work.

Note: This is not for everyone.

Personally, my routine fits squarely in Warrior Mode. I nuked all social media apps and added kindle/audible books. I also ignore non-critical calls/texts. Friends and family are used to waiting a few hours for a response.

Take action: Test out Productive Mode and get more done.

Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work

Common Problems

  1. How Do I Stop Endlessly Researching Topics And Get Stuff Done?


  1. We Want To Be Distracted
  2. Proximity Matters

Practices: Just Say No

  1. Just say No
  2. Stop Looking For Drama
  3. Beware Of Taking On Extra Responsibility
  4. Make an “I won’t do” list

Practices: Say Yes

  1. Track your distractions
  2. Stay focused with a To Do list
  3. Make a “Big Rock” list
  4. Follow the 2-minute rule
  5. Try the Pomodoro Technique
  6. Make a list of questions

Practices: Control Your Physical Environment

  1. Find your Den of Productivity
  2. Eliminate distracting belongings
  3. Limit disruptive noise
  4. Listen to music
  5. Silence your phone

Practices: Control Your Digital Environment

  1. Close your email
  2. Leave social media
  3. Close your browser tabs
  4. Limit distractions from Slack
  5. Try an app blocker

Practices: Get Organized

  1. Make project documents

What do books say about distraction free work?

“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas — or you can cheat by reading them in books.”
Patrick Collison

  1. “The Obstacle Is the Way” on handling distractions
  2. “The 4-Hour Workweek” on eliminating distractions