Work Smarter with Smart Phones
I recently watched a comedy sketch and the comedian was pretending to pack everything he might need for a weekend away – torch, multiple maps, compass, the list went on.
It was all about life before the smartphone and how it’s become a necessity for many people on a daily basis.
Despite having only become an integrated part in our society relatively recently, research shows that the number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to exceed five billion by 2019.
Recent research by Deloitte found that:
- Use of mobile phones was dividing relationships because 41% of those surveyed thought their partner was glued to their phone too much
- More than half of respondents looked at their phone within 15 minutes of waking
With 68% of us in the UK owning a smartphone, we are slowly starting to recognise that we may be stuck on a dopamine hamster wheel through our cravings for attention and instant gratification.
More people are opting for a social media detox, where they come off certain platforms entirely, purely so they can disconnect. We’re getting sick of feeling like we’re constantly available 24/7. And we’re feeling under increasing pressure to convey the perfect lifestyle through social media.
So, if smartphone notifications are no longer music to our ears, we need to rethink our approach and can limit distractions in the following ways:
Turn Notifications Off
This is applicable for both the extensions you may use on your browser and any apps you have on your phone.
Remove Apps Entirely
If you feel the need to take it one step further, remove the apps and therefore the temptation (just don’t then go to your phone’s web browser to view the same accounts there – that’s cheating… but yes, I’ve done that before!).
Close Down WhatsApp on Your Web Browser
Simply not having the pages as easily accessible will make a difference.
Create a Timetable
Set self-imposed boundaries for when you will check your accounts and stick to these. Clearly define the times when you are going to browse social media and when you’re going to respond to comments. Add them to your diary if you need to.
Impose a Personal Policy
Make it a personal policy to NOT check social media first thing and last thing. Hell, make any of these things a personal policy and then stick to them.
Forget Your Phone
Leave your phone at home if you’re out with the people who would normally contact you.
Downgrade to a Calls-Only Phone
Possibly one of the more drastic ideas, but an option nonetheless.
Find an App That Will Help You
And if you really don’t trust yourself, use a desktop app like Cold Turkey as enabling it means you literally cannot access pre-defined web pages for a set amount of time.
Use Social Media Schedulers
Schedule social media posts in advance using Buffer, Hootsuite etc – that way you’ll know your content is still going out there and all you’ll need to do is factor in the necessary time to be social and respond to comments etc.
Take Email off Your Phone
I know a lot of people who have removed their business email accounts from their phones because they’ve simply wanted to switch off entirely at the end of their business day. This will totally depend on your industry and role, so may not work for you.
Do ‘Do Not Disturb’
If your phone has a do not disturb option, set specific times when don’t want to be disturbed.
Buying a smartwatch was possibly one of my worst decisions. I feel as though I’m a slave to its notifications and regularly turn it onto ‘do not disturb’ mode so I can concentrate. I also chose not to sync specific notifications for the very same reason.
What’s your advice for anyone else who’s feeling like a slave to their smartphones? Please comment below.