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Turning off phone notifications could help you make better decisions

Rob Hatch is a business creator; a business coach; and the author of a new book, "Attention! The Power of Simple Decisions In A Distracted World."

PORTLAND, Maine — In a world filled with distractions and a pandemic, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with life, with work, with task that should be basic. 

Rob Hatch is not only a business creator, but also a business coach. He's the author of a book that was just released during the crazy year of 2020, called "Attention! The Power of Simple Decisions in a Distracted World." 

"The first step is really deciding what we want to live through, and when and where, and for whom we want to give our attention," Hatch explains. The book is filled with tips to turn off some of the daily noise, and reset your own pace; beginning with something simple: turning off notifications on your phone. 

"Companies [like Twitter; Facebook; and Instagram] are really clever," Hatch explains. "They are creating a dopamine response to which we are responding like Pavlov’s dogs. The minute it goes off, we pick it up. Even if you’re sitting in a restaurant and you hear a phone four tables over… You still pick up your phone almost instinctively. I’ve had the experience of thinking maybe my phone vibrated but it wasn’t at all, I just feel like my body has almost conditioned itself to receiving that in some ways."

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Start simple, Hatch says. Avoid those "red dot reactions," by turning off notifications on just one app. "We can turn those off though, we can decide who gets through. We don’t have to pick up or respond or even allow them through, quite frankly. I still go to Facebook, but I go when I want to go."

Email is also a simple fix, Hatch explains. "I filter my inbox based on if I’m going to receive an email from someone more than once, then they get a folder so it skips the inbox entirely and goes into that folder. Anything from my business partner or anything for my coaching clients, anything from my wife; it goes right into a folder. When I go into my inbox I’m not scanning my inbox making all sorts of little tiny decisions, 'Do I? Do I not…' I go in and I go to the folders I determine are most important first."

One more piece of advice from Hatch during our interview; "Put success in your way," something he says is based on three components.

1. Willpower is limited

"We are not given an inexhaustive supply of power throughout the day, it wears on us."

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2. Decisions are distractions

"For every decision we make, our ability to make subsequent decisions is degraded," Hatch explains. "So for example, if I’m sitting around figuring out what I’m wearing today or what am I going to eat this morning, that’s decision-making energy that I’m wasting. Whereas, if I know what I’m going to eat or I know what I’m going to wear ahead of time I can apply that decision making energy in other areas."

3. Habits are a powerful biological force that we can leverage to our advantage

"What do I need in front of me to do the thing that I want? If I’m going on a run, the minute I wonder where my headphones are or where are my shoes and where are my shorts are where are my gloves, whatever it is, the minute I start thinking about that I’m not going out for that run. But if everything is ready and I can basically just fall into those clothes and have everything ready, that’s putting success in my way. I’ve put together everything that I need and removed the things that I don’t."

To learn more about Rob Hatch or his book, "Attention!" click here