Recently, you’ve probably heard a lot about how we shouldn’t use our smartphones so much because it’s bad for our productivity, our minds, and our interaction with others. There’s some truth to those statements. It is easy to get lost in the virtual world at our fingertips and forget about the people around us. When it comes to the point that we have to try and convince people to not text and drive even though it’s obviously dangerous, then there really is a problem.
Many suggest using our phones as little as possible, while others say that the way to go is to revert back to the old “dumb” phones. But, let’s face it, no one is really going to give up their smartphones. Instead, you should simply change HOW you use it.
They are called smartphones right? Emphasis on the “smart!” Let’s use them in smart ways. It’s really easy to download a bunch of games and get lost in fantasy worlds and high scores. But there are ways you can make the most of your phone by using it to boost your productivity!
Here are a few things to consider doing first.
It’s incredibly easy to pick up your smartphone when you’re bored. Naturally, our minds want to stay busy! That’s why we hate being bored. So when boredom strikes, we pick up our phones to occupy our minds with social media, games, emails, etc. What if you left your phone where it was? You’d be surprised at how creative you can be. The mind can entertain itself! Allow yourself to be bored every once in a while and see what kind of creative ideas come to you in the moment!
Think about all those games you downloaded that you never play anymore. What are they doing on your phone still? Delete them! In fact, delete everything you don’t use and everything you don’t need. This will help you by reducing the time you spend on your phone simply trying to find something to occupy your time.
Go phone free
I promise that the world won’t end if you decide to put your phone aside for an hour or two. (If the world does end in that short amount of time I’ll let you tell me “I told you so.”) The exact opposite may actually happen. You’ll probably interact with more people, come up with new ideas, and probably be more productive in general. Set up specific times to go phone free. Maybe it can be during your busiest time of the day, or when you get home from work. When you come back to your phone you’ll see that you really didn’t miss that much and your anxiety about being without your phone will subside.
Focus on people
You probably spend more time talking to people via text message than in person these days. That’s just a reality of the electronic era we live in. So when you meet someone in person, show them how much their time means to you by focusing your attention on them instead of your phone. Your relationship with that person will deepen. And you never know, you may meet some very interesting people this way.
When you’ve gotten your priorities in check, now you can begin to consider how to use your phone effectively. Remember, the phone is simply a tool that we use.
Define what isn’t necessary
There are some task that we don’t require our phones. One of which is telling time. You don’t have to use your phone as a watch. That’s what watches are for! How many times have you taken your phone out to check the time, but out of habit, unlocked it and checked something else? I’ve done it way too many times. It’s like walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there. When you leave, you have to walk back in again to do what you intended to do in the first place. You also don’t have to use your phone as an alarm in the mornings. This only invites you to check your phone as soon as you wake up. I don’t know about you, but that just makes me stay in bed longer.
Define what IS necessary
Now, despite what some articles suggest, smartphones aren’t black holes ready to steal away all our attention and productivity. If that happens to you, it’s because you allowed it to happen. There are hundreds of apps out in the cyberworld that are there to help you be more productive. These apps will track your time, make your to-do lists, help you lose weight, track your finances, teach you a new language, and so much more. Be smart when using your smartphone! Use it to your advantage!