The world is a busy place.
New York City is famous for being the “city that never sleeps.” You can grab dinner at 3 AM there, find a gym with overnight hours, or almost anything else you need.
The Internet is the same way. We are connected to this information and communication channel for about seven hours per day.
That means everyone is constantly bombarded with noisy marketing notifications that demand attention. It might be easy to give in and click, but it is more important to focus on what you actually need in life.
What Are the Best Ways to Stay Focused?
Every piece of data brings with it a set of temptations. That information might involve company branding, product information, or a simple tagline.
Although a marketing phrase like Reebok’s “Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout” might try to grab your attention, these tips can help you stay focused.
by Greg Mckeown
⏱ 14 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Tune out everything.
It might be tempting to tune into every marketing conversation, but that choice is detrimental to your overall productivity. It helps to find something else to listen to when you need to focus.
If you’re working at a computer, the combination of brown noise and rain ASMR effectively prevents distractions. Others prefer classical music to maintain the headspace they want.
Shut it off when you don’t need it.
You don’t need to stay connected the entire time. The easiest way to combat noisy marketing is to shut it off.
That means you might need to unplug everything for a couple of hours each day.
When the TV, radio, and other devices deliver marketing messages, turning off the equipment ensures that you can stay focused on what you are doing.
If you can’t shut everything off, try disabling notifications. You won’t get as many dings from your mobile device that way.
Practice meditation during the distraction.
How you practice dictates your overall productivity levels. If you continually switch your attention to noisy marketing, you’ll be distracted constantly. If you can meditate during these moments, it’ll be easier to make the positive choices that lead to the goals you want to achieve. 
It helps to master the initial meditation elements at home in a quiet room. As you get better at this skill, progress to more distracting environments. Pretty soon, even the noisiest marketing campaign won’t affect you.
Give yourself a buffer.
Noisy marketing has the goal of getting you to make an impulse purchase. Why else would burger and restaurant commercials air at common meal times?
When you give yourself a time buffer before making a purchasing decision, you’ll avoid the expense of buying something you don’t need.
Even a delay of 24 hours is enough to resist the temptation that the marketing creates. If you have bigger choices to make, like taking your investments in a different direction, a window of 7-10 days could be better.
Be selective with your information resources.
Instead of relying on the loudest and most common message heard, try to get several different opinions about what you want to do. Even if you think the marketing comes from a reliable information pool, nothing good comes from a one-stop-shop for advice.
It helps to do your homework, spend some time window shopping, and performing your due diligence. When you have all the information, you can make better decisions.
Ignore the complications.
Discounts become tricky items to use, especially when a marketing campaign tries to be the loudest one out there. You need to read the fine print, clearly understand the deal, and calculate the savings to see if it is worthwhile.
It’s not unusual for generic items to be cheaper than a name-brand product with a discount. Even buy one, get one discounts don’t always save as much as consumers think. The best way to get around this issue is to budget everything.
Go beyond the first page.
Have you ever noticed how the most expensive items at a grocery store are always at eye level? The goal is to have you see the products with the highest profit margins first as you do your shopping.
This principle works in almost any setting, including e-commerce. When you visit a clothing store, the newest items are always there when you walk into the shopping area. If you’re online, the items on the front page serve the same purpose.
You can avoid this marketing trick by looking for clearance and sales items. They’re usually hidden away, which means you’ll need to look for specific shelves, racks, or links.
Think about what you value the most.
Choose a handful of things, events, and people that you value the most about your life. Use these choices as your starting point to create a model around which you structure future decisions.
When you make conscious choices about your needs, each decision comes back to how you’re supporting what you value the most.
Far too often, we forget about the events and people that have helped shape our lives. Instead of listening to the marketing, try to hear those encouraging words.
Get rid of the clutter in your life.
Do you need everything you have? If something hasn’t been used in a couple of years, it should probably get tossed or donated. You can even sell items if they’re still in good shape. Marketing messages always say that you need to have more, but the reality is that we can often enjoy life more when we have less.
Spending time with the people we love is the best way to avoid noisy marketing. Try to disconnect from the online conversations, enjoy some quiet time, and treasure the relationships and moments you have with your family and friends.
What Is Snapreads?
With the Snapreads app, you get the key insights from the best nonfiction books in minutes, not hours or days. Our experts transform these books into quick, memorable, easy-to-understand insights you can read when you have the time or listen to them on the go.