It's 3:20 a.m. and the phone is ringing.
How could the phone be ringing? I have do not disturb on...
OMG. Calls get through do not disturb if the caller calls multiple times...
Like in an emergency...
OMG. It's an emergency! OK. OK. I am up. What's happening? Get it together, Jordan, this is a go-mode moment. Who could be most at-risk of an emergency? What's the fastest way to get to them?
And then I realized... It was my fiancée's phone that was ringing.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to hear Arianna Huffington speak at HubSpot's Inbound conference. I have been a huge fan for a long time, and she did not disappoint. She even called out our host, Dharmesh Shah, for staying up until 3 a.m. the prior night.
The last thing I want is for Arianna to call me out in front of 5,000 people, so I decided right then to get a hotel. I had been staying with friends and had been getting to bed late, sleeping uncomfortably and getting up very early to take a 50-minute train ride into Boston.
The decision to get a hotel room and spend some time by myself only took a a few minutes and decreased my stress level tremendously for the rest of the week. Here are a few of my other favorite life hacks to improve the third metric. Most of them only take a few seconds.
1. iPhone do not disturb:
I love my iPhone do-not-disturb settings, but apparently, I had forgotten to tell my fiancée how great they are. I don't want to make the same mistake again, so let me tell you.
Head on over to
Settings -> Notifications -> Do Not Disturb
Settings -> Do Not Disturb)
Choose what time you would like not to be disturbed. You will still get notifications, they just won't be disruptive. So, if you are lying on the couch playing Candy Crush, you will still receive texts from your friends.
You can also set who you want to allow calls from. Choose a privileged group from your address book (I leave mine on favorites so my moms can still call me).
Finally, choose how you want to handle emergencies. The last setting allows a person to make your phone ring if they call back to back within a three-minute window.
2. Get a notebook:
I personally prefer the Moleskine brand, because they make a version that is specifically designed to work with Evernote.
How to use Evernote productively is far too vast a topic for this article, so I suggest you check out this great post by Whitson Gordon on Lifehacker. The point I will emphasize is to clip notes to Evernote, and then catch up on them while you're disconnected from the Internet. This will prevent you from being interrupted.
4. Airplane mode You don't need to be on an airplane to use airplane mode. Head on over to your iPhone settings and switch into airplane mode:
- At the dinner table
- At your kids soccer games
- When you get into work
- When you are driving
5. Turn off Email Notifications Ugh. Outlook is the worst. It completely kills your productivity and flow at the office. Luckily, there is a way to prevent that pesky yellow envelope from perturbing you.
- On the Tools menu, click Options.
- On the Preferences tab, click Email Options, and then click Advanced Email Options.
- Under When new items arrive in my Inbox, uncheck the Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only) check box.
Be sure to check your email every couple hours. For more on email, I really suggest you read about inbox zero.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.