In order to minimize distractions from your BlackBerry (or any other smartphone), change the sound profile to “Phone Calls Only.” By switching to this setting, the phone will not chime, chirp, buzz, or otherwise seize your attention countless times throughout the day. Will you still check your phone instinctively for emails/texts/BBMs? Of course. However, the important difference is that you will check your messages only when your attention consciously shifts into “message checking mode.” This is an important concept to grasp because it is at the core of why you should make this change. Emails/texts/BBMs do not care when they arrive in your inbox – they barge in whenever someone remembers to send you a request. With this small change, you can check messages during your lulls of focus instead of right during a great moment of productivity zen.
I shift back into vibrate mode after normal work hours since I don’t necessarily need to be as focused. The last important shift is right before bedtime, when the phone should be switched to “Bedtime mode.” This setting, which is available from the clock application, will prevent the phone from chirping during the wee hours of the morning when the night-owl coworkers are firing off emails or when my drunk friends had the latest “remember that time…” text.
By following these simple tips, you can virtually eliminate distractions and maintain your train of thought. An added bonus of both settings is the LED indicator on the phone will not flash when messages are received. The flash itself can be a distraction, if the phone is within view, even if you have the phone on vibrate or silent. Without the LED indicator, you will definitely maintain focus during the day and stay rested at night!