Do you feel like you’d be more productive if not for your smartphone habits? While smartphones have numerous productivity-boosting apps, they also arouse habits that ruin our productivity. They have a flexible calendar to smartly plan work but are also the same ones with outlets for procrastination, since they feed our natural distracted state. However, there’s room to improve.
According to RescueTime smartphone use studies, most users touch their phone 58 times a day, with 20 percent spending more than four and half hours on their devices. Stay with me to learn powerful smartphone habits you can develop to become more productive.
1. Create Phone Checking Schedules
Whether it’s your email or social media, set specific times – preferably two or three times a day – where you’ll grab your phone, check emails, check social media, and get in touch with those who’ve missed you. This way, you can work without worrying about a notification you haven’t checked and focus on the task at hand, building discipline and subsequently, productivity.
2. Practice Social Distancing with Your Phone
Even when you set timelines for checking your phone, it can be tempting to check in when in sight. Therefore, put your phone where you won’t have to see it. Even better, place it somewhere tough to reach, since it makes it easy to pause and think when you want to check it before time.
3. Follow Healthy Timespans for Using Social Media
Many ask, how much social media is healthy? According to the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, using social media for no more than 30 minutes per day is healthy. This means, if you check in three times, you need to spend 10 minutes or less per session. Stay mindful and keep time. Even if you’re on LinkedIn, the time you spend scrolling the “informative” posts shouldn’t get out of hand.
4. Turn Off Social Media Notifications
Taking advantage of our natural desire for social validation, notifications signal the brain that it’s about to be rewarded. “Maybe that’s likes and comments to my post;” “Perhaps that’s a new connection;” “I set my notifications to only notify about likes, comments, and, followers, so that must be something good.” That’s how your brain thinks when you hear a notification and that’s how the marketers keep you hooked on the app as smartphone addiction studies reveal. Work against the marketers’ plan.
5. Stay Conscious of Your Environment
Apart from the fact that there’s a time for everything, there’s a place for everything. You want to retrain your brain to understand that using your phone in certain places is a not okay – unless using it’s more necessary than whatever is at stake.
Avoid using your phone:
- At mealtime
- During a conversation
- In classes, sermons, and meetings
- While driving a car or walking in traffic
- While watching a movie
- When spending time with others
Practice focusing on one thing since it’s one of the great pillars of a productive mindset.
6. Wonder Before Searching for Answers
Making productive decisions every day demands critical thinking. Therefore, exercise your analytical thinking by refraining from searching Google for answers to every question that pops up. Give your mind a chance wonder.
7. Put Your Phone Away Before Getting into Bed
You know the bad habit of scrolling your phone when in bed – the blue light invading your eyes, which ruins your sleep and damages your eyes in the long run. Furthermore, being productive is also sleeping at the right time. Set your alarm and put your phone more than arms-reach away.
8. Do a Phone Fast
If you feel too attached to your phone, a phone fast can help you do away with some bad smartphone habits. If you don’t depend on your phone to make a living or some other vital purpose, ditch it for some time. This will give you the mental break you need to destroy bad habits and create new healthy ones.
9. Use Do Not Disturb Mode
Take advantage of this free smartphone feature whenever you can, especially during mentally tasking tasks. Getting no notifications and receiving only repeated calls that signal emergency while keeping alarms is a great idea. It all depends on your settings.
10. Experience Life without a Phone
Humans can’t live with habit vacuums. Therefore, if you stop lengthy screen times but don’t establish other healthy habits, you’ll either relapse into that habit or develop other bad ones. Rarely do you stumble on good habits. Therefore, determine other healthy ways to spend your downtime and indulge in them. Talk with a friend, play an instrument, journal, nap, meditate, experience nature – whatever suits you.
11. Use Productivity Apps to Keep You Accountable
If you don’t trust your self-accountability, get an accountability partner who is always with your phone. The following are are some great apps to help you monitor and regulate usage and create great smartphone habits:
- Moment for iOS only
- Offtime, BreakFree, and Flipd for iOS and Android
- AppDetox and Stay on Task for Android only
12. Reestablish Your Smartphone Purpose
As mentioned earlier, smartphones can boost our productivity. Therefore, identify apps that are ruining your productivity and either do away with them completely or greatly minimize their use. Determine healthy uses for using your phone: reading books, listening to podcasts, journaling, talking to friends and family – whatever brings richness to your life. When using your phone, keep up with these tasks, and over time, you’ll be caught up in smartphone features that enrich your life.
From time to time, do a reality check on your smartphone habits to determine whether you’re progressing with your goals. Determine possible bad habits remaining and use some of the above tips to eradicate them. Any of these best productivity apps can help you stay on track.
Which bad smartphone productivity habit have you struggled with? How did you deal with it? Let’s talk in the comment section below.