You do not have to be available 24/7. Life carried on just fine without you, before you showed up, and it will carry on just fine long after you are gone.
Less e-mail, less contact, less messaging, less calling, less technology, all of it pulling you this way and that to see if you are paying attention to it, whatever it is, instead of whatever you should. Blinking, spinning, pulsing, vibrating, dinging, cheeping, chirping and so many more annoyances that end with the letters I, N and G.
Minimise the interruptions.
Minimise the distractions.
Shut off, down or out technological distractions.
Set yourself away. Unplug the network cable Close your office door. Turn off the cell phone.
No, really, turn it off.
I am quite serious; the cell phone needs to be switched off.
I want you to believe me when I say, the world will not disappear just because your cell phone is off and your business will not collapse around your ears just because you cannot be reached for a few hours.
I run a busy little video game, software development start-up called Infinite Monkey Factory, where most projects we take from clients are… how do I put this politely? A train wreck in progress? An eleventh hour rescue? It is my company’s job to rush in and prevent the disaster from happening.
As they often say, “The impossible you can have tomorrow. Miracles may take a little longer.”
Putting myself "out of contact" is one of the greatest productivity boosters I can give myself even with the world falling down around my ears. Nobody around to distract me, no calls, no emails, no messages, nothing dancing around on my computer desktop.
Shutting it all down buys time, time to breath, time to focus, time to think, time to plan, time to strategise. And those few hours of massively valuable productivity will return more on the investment in them than the next several days of worthless, whirlwind activity.
Do yourself a favour and try it every once in a while. Shut out the world, find a small window of inner peace, and give all of your attention and focus to the important rather than the urgent.