When you sit on the bus, or train, or actually anywhere, you will see almost everyone scrolling through their phone. In fact, you might be reading this on your phone right now.
Most of the time spent on mobile phones is on social media websites or playing games. Smartphones are a great way to access a lot of information quickly. Which means they are also great for productivity if you use them in the right way.
They can often be seen as a form of a distraction, though, people will take their mobile phones out to pass the time or to avoid doing what they really need to do. But if you want to put your phone to work, in a way that benefits you and your business then here are some tips about how to make that happen.
If you don’t have the self-restraint to turn your phone over or put it into a drawer while you work, then the next best thing is to turn some of your notifications off. If you get facebook messages and WhatsApp notifications and you keep checking them in between working, then you’re going to need around 15 minutes to get back on track. Switching focuses while you are working costs you time. So turn the ones off that aren’t related to working. So if you use Slack then keep that notification on, but if your WhatsApp is friends, not clients or work turn them off.
You likely check your phone enough in the day to see a message within an hour or so of it arriving anyway. And, if it isn’t ringing it probably isn’t vital.
Most of us listen to music on our mobile phones now. But you could be using it to take a course, listen to podcasts about emerging tech and trends in your field or audiobooks on a subject that matters. If you know that you have a long journey coming up on the train or on the bus, then this is going to be ideal for you. You will be consuming long-form content in a way that is much more practical than carrying the book around, and a better use of your phone that checking out what Susan did on her holidays. There are apps that help you glean the main points from impactful books too. This makes unproductive time, work to your advantage by filling space with knowledge and ideas.
Initially, people who had a mobile phone had it for phone calls. Somewhere along the way, that went missing. If you work from home and feel tied into being there because professionalism looks better with a landline, then check out how to get a landline for your mobile. You will still keep the look of an office number, but you can answer that call in an incubation hub, in the library or in the coffee shop (that hopefully, you are working in).
Millions of people download apps, use them once and then leave them. Not only do they muddy up that clear desktop, but they also stop you finding what you are looking for in good time. Even worse when many of the apps have a similar design or color.
You might consider getting rid of your social media apps too. If they aren’t there, you aren’t going to be tempted to tap them. Making more conscious decisions on what you do and don’t use is essential if you are looking to streamline your mobile phone usage.
If you have a range of applications that might come under the same umbrella, like photo editing or video apps, then start to group them up and put them in folders. This will speed up the rate at which you can find what you need.
When you do use applications, make sure that they are the ones that can work on your laptop, desktop and mobile phone. So the files you had written, or sent to a client are accessible via your mobile phone too. It means that if you are working on a project, and you find something you think is interesting, you can take a photo and add it to the project. Evernote is one of the most recommended applications for this.
You probably know how you work best, and what makes your work easier. If you prefer to dictate and transcribe later, then use a voice recording app on your mobile to do that. If you know that you are due to any client calls, then set your calls to do not disturb. If you work at a set time each day, but find that you are often checking emails, tweets and others. It is time to set up a DND on those hours.
Being productive means you really want to have time to wind down too. Relaxing is essential for good work performance. So, consider using your mobile phone for things like mindfulness and getting a better night’s sleep. Get into the habit of using the Calm app or Headspace application. They have a range of fascinating guided meditation, and Calm, in particular, has work-related ones. Which is very beneficial to negate disruptive thoughts in your working day.
If you want to stay on track with what needs to be done and when then set your phone up to remind you of what needs to be done. While we don’t all need a visual reminder, it can help to keep you focused on delivering on certain deadlines.
If you think that you are pretty good at limiting your mobile phone usage, it always helps to check. The Moment app can give you a breakdown of where your time is going. It tracks how you use your phone (not unlike iPhones notification called Screen Time). Once you know where your time sinks are, you can delete the app, turn off notifications or adjust your usage.
Pocket technology is great when implemented in the right way. And, many of us are wasting valuable minute scroll through social networking sites rather than working on our projects or relaxing correctly. So make a few tweaks and make mobile phones work for you.