When I’m working at my desk I usually have my phone face down on the surface near to me. I am guessing you’re the same? The idea is that we won’t see every notification that pops up on the screen (for example Duolingo telling me that my “health” is back to 100%) and we tell ourselves that we can work without distraction.
However, I’ve just read an article which suggests otherwise – that just having the phone next to us is a distraction, that we “value” it as part of our lives and that we are inextricably drawn to it!
So – while I am writing this, mine is switched off and completely out of sight. Of course, I am not doing a great job of ignoring it, because I am focussing on it – but hopefully when this is finished and posted, and I move on to something else, it will assume a lesser importance in our lives.
As we begin 2019 we all start with the best of intentions – some may still make “Resolutions” – and one of mine is to become more “productive” in my business.
What does that mean? Well in my case I work solo, and have only a limited number of hours in a day – so I want to ensure that I spend those hours in the best way possible. Work will of course be part of that (even on weekends I will usually spend some time working, even if that is simply reading a personal development book or watching a great video).
During the working day, I want to ensure that I make the most of the time I have available. I drive a lot, so I download podcasts, and have an Audible account, so I can listen to interesting material as I drive (also on train journeys).
Some people swear by apps on their phones to get things done -whether that’s to-do lists or other communication tools such as Slack – but I think I need time AWAY from my phone to be productive – and the article I read would concur! I do think we need to get away from the “always available” culture – is it really necessary to respond to a message the second it appears?
Another article I read over the Christmas break held that email is slowly drowning us – our inboxes are groaning under the weight of all the (largely) redundant and unnecessary messages that we receive. People back at work yesterday/today/on Monday will spend a good hour or two simply filtering and deleting emails that have accumulated over the break!
It is likely that we will face significant business challenges over the coming months so we need to be using our time productively. I’ll be looking at ways to do that – and sharing that with you – but I think a good start would be to Put the Phone Away for a couple of hours at least?