Oh, Those Weapons of Mass Distraction!

Despite the fact that I don’t watch TV, my “anti-library” — books I own and desperately want to read but can’t just find the time do it — keeps growing.

A while back I realized that the most deadly weapon of mass distraction in my life is my smartphone. With apps like Twitter and Facebook on it, it’s just too tempting to go to them than to reach out for my Kindle where most of my books reside waiting for me…

And so I decided to take action.

I deleted Facebook and Twitter apps from my smartphone. I can still go to them through my browser but I have to log in every time. (can’t delete the browser damn!). And because that requires some effort, the time I spend on those apps has dropped by more than 70%

On my laptop (macbook pro) I use technology to fight technology. I have actively started using this app called Self Control. It’s an absolute boon because it

lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites–even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

For several hours of the day, I block myself from all social media and google news (noise?).

Then, I switched off most notifications from my phone. No more sound or vibration when a message (including from dear wife) or a mail arrives and no notification on number of unread messages/mails etc. I also switched off most notifications on my laptop. And I use the do-not-disturb feature on my iPhone which blocks all calls or messages or those from unknown numbers as long as I want.

For my professional work, which requires focus on long term fundamental performance rather than real time stock price movements, I deleted the google finance bookmark from my laptop and deleted all apps on my phone which gave real-time stock prices. Sorry Bloomberg!

I love technology and what it can do for me. But I absolutely hate it’s ability to distract me from reading and from my work. The above measures have caused my productivity to increase significantly. Perhaps, they will be of some use to you. If you have any tips on how to win against weapons of mass distraction (no I don’t want to give up my smartphone or my laptop!), please share them.

Thank you.

Sanjay Bakshi

41 thoughts on “Oh, Those Weapons of Mass Distraction!

  1. Ragu says:

    Sir, In the book “Steal like an artist” the author says he has two desks, Analog Desk and Digital Desk. In his analog desk, he says he don’t have any digital devices. Though you use Kindle, I think your intent is to avoid distractions. So, you could have a analog zone that has kindle, pen and paper.

    • Thanks Ragu. Guy Spier writes something similar in his wonderful book. He has an “analog room” to himself with a “do not disturb” sign outside.


  3. I think there are good and bad distraction. Lot of our learning comes from distraction which makes us curious and investigate ( dig deeper) . I learn better when I learn this way rather than page to page reading .

    While books are valuable but if one cannot read the book inspite of distraction that means it is not important . I drop it . In this case book itself is a distraction and not a value add

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sir!

    While I am still using Twitter on my handset – which I am deleting after writing this note – here are a few additional things I do / have started doing to increase my productivity –

    1. Check and reply to emails only between 8 to 10 AM. Nothing after that till next morning 8 AM (disabling notifications has helped a lot here) – It’s still work in progress though.
    2. Started waking up at 5 AM (and sleep at 11 PM)…so that gives me an additional hour to read/exercise before kids wakes up.
    3. Forced by my wife, I keep my desk absolutely minimalist (for some peculiar reason, my productivity declines when my desk is cluttered)
    4. Get up from work every 30 minutes for 5 minutes. I walk around, stretch, drink some water, and talk to my family. That helps me refresh for the next 30 minutes.

    Thanks again for opening a window to your world.

    With respect,

  5. ankur bhatia says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for your post it resonates with deactivation I have been practicing myself.

    Some ideas to share are:

    Switch off my phones at night at 10 pm

    Use landline for calling

    Deactivate every 1-2 hours for 5 minutes where I do nothing just focus on breathing or take a walk with aim of emptying mind

    Do not keep phone in vicinity or range where I need to keep it on but far enough not to disturb me. This I do when I’m working on critical project

    Stopped watching TV instead watch documentaries ,interviews or choosing what I want to watch and when. Using Google chromecast for broadcasting my smart phone to TV

    Will also start keeping a small journal to download imp info reminder instead of keeping it my head to action it. You can use Evernote app but writing has something behind it it’s more powerful but choose as per your convenience

    Also, plan to do technology fast once a week/fortnight which means no computer, no TV, no phone, no kindle


  6. Madhu Vijai says:

    dear sir,
    all great value investors ensure they have all the time in the world. warren has time to play 4-6 hrs of bridge, templeton relaxed somewhere in bahamas,,mohnish gets graet afternoon naps,i think sir, it is absolutely essential to have extended free periods to be a true value investor

  7. I have also found the Pomodoro technique helpful – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

  8. Hi Sir,
    Agree to the distractions caused by increasing access to information/people via technology. Also I used to get distracted on browser by opening multiple useful links and get lost on thing which I started. Hence I use no. of browsers to be opened blocker (currently 4). Limits deviation and helps me finish what I started before jumping onto something else.


  9. anshulkhare says:

    Thanks for sharing your hacks Sir.

    I found Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, very relevant to address this issue of distraction.

  10. Rahul Gupta says:

    Dear Professor,

    As per my experience, i too have been a similar victim as you. What i have realized over the year is, if you remain focus on one single thing , you definitely get the best result out of it. Say for example: If you are reading a book , please remain reading without indulging in any other activities like FB,Twitter, or any sort of thing which distract you from what you have been trying to grasp by reading. All i know is just do one thing at a time and avoid multitasking.

  11. I like the entire post. Simply it says that you should be the master of your world and not the other way round including technology. You should not become slave of the technology. Use technology judiciously and enjoy its unlimited advantages. But don’t ruin your life because of it. I know umpteen number of people who say that if there is no activity on their smart phone for more than 60 minutes – at max – they feel like that they are no more alive and out of this world. I have seen people making comments on facebook informing ‘they have come to their home town’ from a tour. Who needs this information – I don’t understand.
    I know a large number of talented and ambitious people with great enviable degrees from enviable institutes who keep all the alarms on “on” position and get distracted every now and then and eventually loosing their superior talent in the next 4 to 5 years time because your mind cannot take on all these things as you grow older in your life.

  12. I use a chrome extension called Limitless to limit & record my time spent on various websites. I use sticky notes to keep track of my work I am doing. Usually I get distracted from the main work and start doing another so Sticky helps to regain my focus.

    I use Limiteless notepad to write down something which clicks my mind so that I can have my head clear and focus on my work.

    On phone I have always been an advocate of “No Notifications”. My net is always off and I completely rule my phone. My phone never distracts me. Moreover, all of my friends and colleagues know that I always have my phone on Silent Mode so they 99% sure that their phone is never gonna be picked up at first shot!

    But I am improving when I work on laptop. Slowly and gradually habits are being broken.

    This article motivated me on my journey of Ultra Productive Daily Routine.

    Thanks for a detailed post sir.

  13. kklucky says:

    Sir, this is exactly what one must do. I never opened an account on Facebook or Twitter for the same reason. I do have WhatsApp, but thanks to highly inactive friends and family, it’s not much of a distraction. Following the “news” and “analysis” is the only real distraction I have and the app you suggest seems to be the panacea for that. In general, I have noticed that the time away from TV/phone is equal to the time spent doing what you really like. Good luck!

  14. vsarda says:

    I’ve done most of what you mentioned and some more over the last year –

    1. No tech on table. There’s a strict no technology rule in our house while on the dining table. This means no phones, no TV and no ipads. This has miraculously made food taste better🙂

    2. No tech during morning walks, runs and gym sessions.

    3. No TV in bedroom.

    4. Automatic priority mode on phones from 9pm to 6 am. Therefore no notifications, emails, messages during that time. Only urgent calls from the contact list.

    All this has resulted in me averaging 4 books a month from 4 books every six months. I still have room to improve.🙂

  15. bhaskarjain says:

    This blog is interesting in this posts’s context – http://calnewport.com/blog/
    Essentially it advocates deep focused short work away from other distractions

  16. ltinvestment says:

    I call this is as Digital cycle. People tend to follow this cycle.

  17. Thanks a lot sir for sharing valuable insights ….. I am a huge fan of yours….I have also deleted BSE, ET, Facebook, Twitter from my mobile…except whatsapp (though keep my mobile data off for most of the day to keep evil of whatsapp away) but need it to remain connected ….may also get rid of it…. still read newspaper (sort of addiction, though have restricted myself to only editorial, business and world news, which still is very toxic) but will not renew the subscription for sure…..

  18. At night I change my phone to a non-smart phone…so even if I want I cannot check email, whatsapp, FB etc etc.

  19. sir i also struggled similarly from this distractions but than i removed the damned connection itself which was 20GB monthly download plan
    this decision itself has given me lot of free time and if i have to really surf web i i go physically to mobile store shop get a plan of 1 gb and not more every time
    even if it cost 5 times per byte
    it helped a lot


  20. Few tips that work for me. Actually I read a couple of books on various topics like memory formation, meditation, Kids mgmt, longevity, Efficiency …all have a near common solution. They recommend healthy food, exercise & sleep. The last one is toughest (for me). So a commitment of No Phone access between 10-6 does the trick for me. Forces u to get uninterrupted sleep. Habits work better with social pressure so I let my wife keep a watch (she is most pleased to do it).

    • Some background on what I said before…I read a study (In ‘The Power of Habit’ ,,, highly recommended) which says that most of us what we do is a 3 step process called Habit. You get a cue, then u follow a routine and finally u get a reward. Cue (Buzz on the phone), Routine (pick phone to check), Reward (no more curiosity). One can change the cue to alter the routine, say switch off the buzz sound. Or alternatively you can change the routine. Routine has some interesting properties. It can be taught with practice but over time it becomes part of your subconscious such that you do it without realization. Works quietly and consistently. Sort of like change of gears when driving, you learnt the right way then u dont realize it but ur hand/legs/mind work without u consciously knowing about it. Because u become unaware of it overtime is where it becomes most dangerous. Interesting thing about routine is that it can be altered and then with practice reset in to subconscious. So routine happens to be the most dangerous bit since its out of our conscious control once we have taught it what to do. Hence the author & the studies say rewire the routine so that on getting the cue u respond with new routine which overtime will become subconscious. Once u have set the right habit u can leave it since it quietly works to improve your life. The 10PM alarm is the cue for my 10-6 no phone habit. One gets similar advice from Baumeisters’ Will Power book (recommended if u haven’t already read it).

  21. Hello Sir,

    I have been on similar journey for quite sometime now.

    Facebook – exactly started with deleting app on phone but sooner browser saved password (technology boomeranged).. 3 weeks before deactivated facebook account.. controlled urge to check it with only one failure🙂

    Twitter – I am trying to reduce noise by un-following people based on their tweets.. I still get some interesting stuff to read in feed.. but 70%+ noise remains in feed..

    Emails – somehow do not excite me/ disturb me.. but Whatsapp is now the biggest distractor during the day..

    Never felt like investing in TV, so no problem there..

    Have been struggling to get rid of phone/laptop/tab an hour before bed quite unsuccessfully for long now.. need to be determined to do this..

    @Ankur – Technology fast sounds cool.. may be a trip to Coorg (place near bangalore with very limited connectivity) every month shall make it really successful.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring Sir🙂


  22. Ajit Kumar says:

    Thanks you sharing this sir. I don’t use any social media on smartphone except whats app. However, i do log in to Facebook and others few times in a day. I do agree that social media posts now a days create unnecessary noise and eats your valuable time. I would take inspiration from you and reduce it further to more productive work..may weekly once or monthly.

  23. Dear Sir,

    As always a wonderful and thought provoking post.

    I would like to share chronologically what I have done over the last two years to tackle this problem:

    1. I deleted my twitter handle and fb account from my smart phone.

    2. After a few days I found myself still reaching out to the internet via a PC or a laptop and spending considerable time on fb and twitter. I thought for a while, and came out with the following three reasons for which one may use fb or twitter:
    (i) If one wants to spend some online time socially with friends, relatives and colleagues without any important reason, or
    (ii) If one needs to market his work or himself online, or
    (ii) If one is a big celebrity and has a fan following, one is bound by the duty to keep posting something for his fans.

    I, being an independent investor and a student of value investment, did not have any of the above reasons applicable for me. So, after a thought, I de-activated my twitter and fb account with a promise that I would re-join only if any of the above reasons force me to join in future.

    It’s been almost a year, and I already feel a lot of valuable time has been saved in the process.

    3. Though Kindle is a handy application and convenient for reading, I found my concentration level dropping while I am reading a book on kindle, so I made a point to buy a physical copy of the books which I believe I should read slowly. For other books, in which I can rush through the pages as per my convenience and mood, I order on Kindle.

    4. When I used to read books and had some questions creeping up in my mind, I used to quickly switch on my laptop and search for it over the net. Then one thing usually leads to another and I would invariably find myself spending hours on different topics haphazardly, without giving proper focused time to reading. I fixed the problem by taking my laptop out of my house and keeping it in my office. This way I read books at home, where there is no laptop or internet to disturb my reading and I do my investment research in office, where there is internet and laptop and no books.

    Next target for me is to get rid of Whatsapp as soon as possible.

  24. Ha Ha Ha – very true in this distracted world and very tough too get over such distractions. A friend recommended a good book on the topic, which is in my reading list – “Deep Work” by Cal Newport

  25. Your post reminds me of my recent share in FB:
    Murmurs from my heart:
    If not all, most of us would agree that Mobile has almost become an extended finger of our body, people are hooked to the mobiles – and a mobile today encompasses everything- classroom, TV, radio, phone, messenger, cinema, calculator, casino, training programs, internet and what-not! Its truly all in one! I am planning to go off-mobile at least for one day every week. I can start to feel that mobile is slowly but steadily increasing the gap between me and myself, me and my family, me and the nature… I want to escape from virtual reality and live in reality. I guess, Oxford dictionary may introduce new synonyms for the word ascetic in the future
    Ascetic: Anyone living without a mobile! smile emoticon
    But what might disrupt the use of mobiles – Smart watches or patches? or Google glass?

  26. I experienced dejavu when using google news a few times a day so somehow I have reduced its use 1 time a day. usually they are all same through tout the day, so once reading is better and nothing much going to change by end of day.

    I tried reading books on kindle but could not get comfort or book reading so switched back to hard copy reading.

    Emails respond at start of day & end of day is better for getting move productive activity in a day. My first boss taught this in first day of career ” do not keep responding to emails as you receive, sit on some and respond in batches. if any thing is supercritical and urgent it will show up”

    Facebook, twitter , whatsapp : have hard time in continually sticking to it, I do not have it on my cell (the regular Nokia)🙂 whenever I feel to connect with someone I try to call & speak. LinkedIn is one which I spend some time on but which is useful.

    Some things happen automatically! TV : my daughter like baby tv & so I watch @ home for some time,
    Laptop : she try to twist screen & love fluid like display so I cannot either open it.

    Books I read & hand over her block books which she like.

    Few blogs: subramoney, Safalniveshak, Seeking wisdom, leobabauta once in a week.
    Google talk youtube videos once a week is of great help for me.

    Few of your articles are printed and filed with me which I read in hard copies, easier to keep notes as well.

  27. I also have started thinking seriously on the issues the professor has mentioned. But unfortunately I cant keep me away from twitter or facebook or you tube or stock related blogs. The only good thing I have done brilliantly is I don’t have a smart phone or Watts app, though the whole world laughs at my old nokia phone !!

  28. Would love to see how this experiment works out. The Chinese curse is now “May you live in interesting times, connected by social media”.

  29. 1. Ideally switch to a dumb phone or a smartphone which get’s the ‘phone’ part done.
    2. For your mobile needs. you can still use an iPad mini.

    This way, you don’t carry the destroyer of time , the phone, in your pocket. And when you really do need to be mobile, you have iPad mini.

  30. saikrishnarao says:

    Chief, you may like this book as well:

    Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

    Happy distraction free reading!

  31. Hello Professor,

    I notice how your post and all subsequent comments are focused only on the modern technology and the allied gadgetry. While that is true, but I feel that limiting our focus to these latest inventions would fail to completely solve our problem and hence wouldn’t allow us to have a wholesome and distraction free focus on our subject.

    Let me ask you a question,

    Are we to assume that we humans were completely distraction free before the advent of the internet ?

    As I write this comment I am reminded of Jiro from the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. Do you think that Jiro was able to achieve that extreme level of dedication to his craft simply by not being on Facebook?

    I don’t think so.

    What I would like to do is introspect and think hard about the factors WITHIN that may make my mind wander and zone out from my subject. This is ofcourse in addition to the EXTERNAL factors that are mentioned above.

  32. You seem 2 have done a good job with external distractions. May i suggest Vipassana meditation that I do to remove the clutter inside, arguably a bigger distraction/weapon.

  33. kakaluma says:

    Dear professor Bakshi,

    this is Davide Diana. We met last year in Trani (Italy).

    I’ve found an email from Value Investing World with a link to this post and the title “weapons of mass distraction” enticed me so I quickly go through your lines.
    I believe it to be a hot topic as well as an important one. It was interesting reading how you’re dealing with the “weapons of mass distraction” so I hope you’ll appreciate if I share with you my experience about it.

    Since my PhD research is on Value Investing and Behavioral issues, for some time I have being conducting some experiments with students (and myself) at my university regarding two matters: one is related to coping with distractions and the other to developing humility/a continuous learner’s mind. Then, the results are shared with psychologists and psychiatrists and we try to go through the main issues together. Finally, many solutions are tested for many months and we then again talk about the results. I also vastly based the research on previous works from people like Daniel Kahneman, Robert Cialdini and Richard Thaler, but the list of people who actually may have a word on what I’m doing is actually longer (Charlie Munger, Guy Spier, and so on..).
    Regarding the first argument, dealing with distraction, I’ve noticed that many people are in fact in a difficult position when coping with technology and the social networks. Students in the classrooms wish to have the latest technology or the best app to be more productive. They sometimes look desperately for optimization although they won’t notice that real productivity is being sacrificed eventually during this perpetual search for the perfect condition. Especially during the last 5 years, the rapid rise of tablets and newer smartphones in classrooms changed completely how students responded in and out the classrooms.
    The problem was that those technologies carried with them a lot of distractions while at the same time promising efficiency and actually being useful in many ways. I’ve also benefitted a lot from the insights in Josh Waitzkin’s book “The Art of Learning”.
    I’ll go down to the main results, quickly listing what worked after one year:

    – Will Power may be strong and people could eventually resist distracting forces, but this internal struggle is energy depleting and affects other psychological factors as well. For instance, constantly shutting off temptations slowly and constantly led our head to think that we are sacrificing a lot and, if that sensation lasts too long, people would eventually start to show higher stress levels. And then they have to deal with stress. So a way to balance the different forces was needed;

    – Environment is really important and must adapt to you to fit you well. But flexibility is fundamental. It helped to have working desks with NO TEMPTING FACTORS, or better, you simply should not be able to see where your distracting source is (computer, smartphone, tablet..)

    – SMARTPHONES (just for curiosity take a look at the new “light phone” on Internet):
    Solutions for students and professionals that worked are many.
    Set your phone in “no data” mode from the time you start working till lunch time then again from after lunch till the time you finish working. So, you might ask, why did you buy a smartphone in the first place? Well, this is a good question. I believe smartphones are there to help us WHEN we need them. We don’t need them as often as we believe. A phone set in “no data” mode will ring if someone is calling you (Texting for futile things is common. People are less likely to call than to send a message. It’s an automatic way to prioritize and give time to more important things in life and work) but your internet data will be blocked. This means no email, no whatsapp, no Facebook or Twitter, no googling around, and no too much Wikipedia (you can write down what you need to search on the Internet for the period when you have access. This too is a way to selecting the info that you want to look for as you won’t be looking for trivial stuff later. As Kahneman and Tversky described, people are subject to momentum in different degree. If you let the moment in which you “really wanted to know about something” pass then later you’ll know if that info was actually that important). For instance, if you have an iPhone, disable internet data from the settings of your network carrier. You will be able to make and receive calls. Also, you’ll be able to send and receive SMS. Less and less people are using the old texting service, so almost no one will be disturbing you because everyone is using whatsapp or other similar services.
    Set you phone in “no disturb” mode (this is a different thing than “no data mode”) a couple of hours before going to bed with exceptions for those people who will have the permission to contact you, also for emergencies. Note, in an iPhone set in no disturb mode a double call in less than 3 minutes will come through anyway. This is a particularly good function.
    Finally, place the iPhone in a place in the room where you can’t see at all. Ideally a place far enough from you so that if you want to reach it you have to get up. When people start thinking a lot and are entering deep focus their eyes tend to move around while they imagine or try to understand a certain argument. During those wandering they should not see your phone or the source of your distraction. It will disturb the concentration.

    P.S. – you will know that it’s working if your phone battery lasts way longer. No change = not doing it well. Students reported an average battery life of their phones of less than 1 day before they started and of more than 1 day after adopting this strategy (indeed many claimed charging the phones at the beginning of the third day). As a personal experience, me too I’ve noticed this. In this way I tamed the distractions coming from the smartphone and my old iPhone 4 (bought in 2010) has a battery that last 2/3 days ! Less than 20 hours if I keep Internet data on all the time.

    – TABLET.
    This is what worked after an year. Do not disable Internet! Doing this never worked for long and you’ll be missing many important features of your tablet. Go into your settings and instead of blocking the websites that you think distract you, just let your device allow you to navigate in only the websites that you need. As Jacobi or Charlie Munger would say, Invert, always Invert. All your apps will keep working, but browsing the net won’t. At least, it will work perfectly and smoothly in all those websites that you allowed. At the beginning, implementing this procedure required some time. People preferred blocking Facebook or Twitter instead but what we noticed was that after some time new distractions were taking the place of the older ones. And Internet is full of distractions. Whenever dealing with a boring task or a task that required deep focus, people tend to drift off easily. Hence, this strategy worked better. In fact, it worked wonder. Criticisms at the beginning were similar to “my quite expensive tablet is useless this way” etc.. Those who implemented this strategy and kept it for long enough (1-2 months) are happy they didn’t stop after the first difficulties. I’m one of those. Once again, flexibility is needed. No strict measure worked for long.
    One thing that worked particularly well for me is interesting. If you were able to set your device to work in this way, you are always able to reverse it. That is a problem. So a password is in place and I don’t know it. Many persons near you can know it except for you. No possibility to change the settings means no will power needed to resist the temptation. That is good for focus.
    Consider creating a word document that contains the password (someone else should write it of course) and put the file in a folder where you could go if you need it (eg, you are on an international trip and forgot to enable all the feature of the tablet before leaving, and no one who knows the password is around when you desperately need it). If you’re thinking that it’s the same as knowing the key yourself, well it’s not. The internal struggle is not only less frequent but inferior as well. This is because once you have set your device properly so that it allows you to go only where you told it, you won’t be tempted that much because no real deprivation is in effect. You told it where you can go, you are the person who allow yourself to go in certain places. In fact, remember that usually people who have a tablet also have a smartphone. Deprovation is limited because people can go and check their Facebook, whatsapp, and so on, but only when the smartphones with their smaller and uncomfortable screen will be on the Internet. So opening the file with the password for the tablet won’t be really necessary. It’ll become just a precaution. At this stage, students were coordinating the different functions of their phones and tablets to fight many psychological tendencies. Lolapalooza at work.

    Besides, in your tablet, your apps will keep working perfectly, as I’ve already said, even those that require Internet. Hence, at this point you should consider removing all apps from your device except for those that you really need. Limit the notifications and disable the device store with the same password as before, the one that other people will have to know but you won’t. If really needed, ask them to activate the device in the office/classroom/etc..
    It also worked to disable the push feature in all tablets for E-mails. Check them manually in the moment of the day that you prefer. No notification should come through except for those that you decide to allow based on your reasons.

    P.S. – in my office device the only websites allowed are those related to my work right now. In that list there’s no Google.com, Google.it, etc. This means that I can’t google around whenever I want. I write down somewhere what I need to search for a later moment in the day. Of course flexibility in NECESSARY, so if I see that what I’m looking for is really important I have two choices: get up and go and take the phone, enable Internet and check for it. Or, go ask the person you know to insert the password in your device to enable Internet entirely in the tablet.
    The password trick also helped in creating cooperative classroom groups where each member knew the password of the other, developing trust and at the same time also creating funny internal challenge on who could resist more to those “weapons of mass distractions”.

    The same procedure as before were implemented in computers but on a minor extent. There were many reasons for this but it’s no use to discuss this here.

    In summary, it’s not only important to create a good environment without distractions, but it’s also hugely important to reduce as much as it’s possible the internal struggle against temptations in order to avoid deprivation, stress, and other factors. The starting period required always some tuning that made it more difficult. Eventually it will work wonder, at the same time reducing the influence from the weapons of mass distractions and helping us in enjoying the true benefits derived from these new technologies. Any strategy that is not flexible enough will at the same time increase the stress levels so it’s definitely important to recognize moments in which it is important to recharge our mental state.

    Dear professor, I hope you’ll find this interesting. I’d like again to thank you for our talks last year in Trani. I hope to meet you again soon.

    Warmly from Italy,

  34. Dear Sir,

    There is one great book named Getting Things Done by David Allen. It is a classic for productivity subject. Please read it here : http://gettingthingsdone.com/

  35. Hi Sir

    To be honest if I could have placed a bet on longbets about this post coming from you, I would have😛 I chanced upon the work of Cal Newport a few years ago- and was deeply influenced by his ideas to drastically cut down my internet usage. I hope his book Deep Work makes it to your anti-library and then your library!

    Good Luck- and good for all of us that you will be even more productive!

    Best Regards

  36. mihir3445 says:

    To save time from getting this unknown calls / advertising /spam -call and message. i use “true dialler”, “truecaller” and “true messenger” – it automatically blocks spam call and message.( saved 10% time, as the people who call me, if i don;t have their number saved, in real time when someone calls true caller decodes and show their name), you can register your number in dnd registry.

    Deleted facebook and twitter account.( saved 40% of my time , 2 years back i did not see any use for this and have not regretted it yet. Yes i don’t know what all of the friends of my friends are doing but that does not bother me, i call and stay connected / they do the same)

    For the headache of remembering and creating password i use 1Password ( it’s a paid application, but for what it does i find it worth) has saved another 5% of time.

    I keep my phone always on no ring/ vibration after 10 till 8 ( if someone calls, the led light flashes and if i see it, meaning if i am not in sleep i pick up else its tomorrows job). For messages/notification it’s on same setting for full day.

    I am trying to get away from crappy group chats in whatsapp, where people keep on pushing “good morning” etc. I have called them and told this is not the way to go, you only share something of importance, not pointless crap. ( so, now i just exit groups, if this is the case).

    Still to getaway from google finance.

  37. There is a wonderful application called “Quality Time” on Android platform which provides users summary of their daily usage at days end (and on adhoc basis). I had installed the app 1 year back and it had helped me cut down my smartphone hours by 40%. Of the remaining 60%, two-third was talk time which was difficult to cut.

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