If you read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book FLOW, you may recall an exercise where he gave pagers to participants and instructed them to record their feelings and activities whenever the pager went off randomly throughout the day. The participants were asked to note down what they were doing, how they were feeling, and their overall sense of enjoyment and engagement in the activity.
I suggest this exercise for my clients with clear task deadlines who are challenged by distraction. I advise them to set random alarms when they need to get some serious work done.
Once they have a plan for the task, they set 4 random alarms to go off during a 3-4 hour period of work time. The objective is to not be caught off task when the alarm goes off. If you do get caught watching the news when the alarm goes off, then it’s a reminder to re-direct you back to the task.
You are competing with yourself to be on task each and every time that alarm sounds. You can also set an alarm for every 20 or 30 minutes during that 3-4 hour work period. How much quality work can you complete in a 20 or 30 minute span of time?
You can create a random alarm experience on both iPhone and Android phones. Here’s how you can do it on each platform: iPhone:
- Open the Clock app on your iPhone.
- Tap on the “Alarm” tab at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on the “+” button to create a new alarm.
- Set the desired time for the alarm by scrolling through the hours and minutes.
- Tap on “Repeat” to configure the repeat settings.
- Select “Custom” from the repeat options.
- Tap on the days of the week to enable or disable them as per your preference.
- Set multiple alarms with different times and repeat patterns to create a random alarm effect.
- Open the Clock app on your Android phone. The exact app name and location may vary depending on the device manufacturer and Android version.
- Tap on the “Alarms” or “Clock” tab, usually located at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap on the “+” or “Add” button to create a new alarm.
- Set the desired time for the alarm.
- Look for the option to set the repeat pattern (e.g., daily, weekdays, weekends).
- If your device has a “Custom” or “Advanced” option for repeat settings, select that.
- Adjust the days or intervals to create a random alarm effect by enabling or disabling the desired days.
If you want more spicy ways to get things done, done well and on time, visit my website at MindfulCommunication.com.