We often get distracted by our phones, but now is the time to delete the unnecessary alerts, declutter your phone and de-stress your life.
Smart phones are super productive tools that help us manage our business and personal lives. They give us freedom, flexibility and control as we can access important information anytime and anywhere.
Yet increasingly, people feel like their smartphone is taking over their lives. A study in 2018 by Deloitte on consumer mobile phone users around the world showed that Irish smartphone users look at their phones 55 times a day on average. That is a lot of precious time out of the day. Why is this happening and how is this affecting our lives?
Lots of alerts
We use our phones for more than just calls and emails. I made a list recently of the other tools on my phone. It doubles as a notebook, map, radio, DVD player, TV, alarm clock, torch, calendar, contact book, book, banking system, parking ticket, music player, even a personal trainer.
That’s a lot of apps and each one has notifications or alerts. Phone notifications demand our focus and each one distracts us to the same extent. So it is important to control these alerts and make sure that only the important ones get our attention.
With so much functionality, our smartphones often cause us to think about things even when we don’t want to.
Picture this scene; you are relaxing at the weekend and decide to take a photo. You grab your phone to use the camera and up pops a notification about a work email. You may chose to ignore it but even if you don’t read the message, work is now on your mind. Your relaxed state has been disturbed.
So let’s see what we can do to take back control, declutter our phones and simplify life.
Scan your phone apps and tools and become really clear about which ones:
- Add to your productivity in work or at home
- Steal your time and decrease your ability to focus2
Streamline your phone by deleting the apps you don’t use anymore. You can do this quickly in the apps list in settings on your phone. Be ruthless!
Reduce app distractions
Decide which apps are important enough to interrupt your valuable time and switch off notifications from the rest. That way you stop a lot of distracting alerts and make sure you respond to the important ones. Check the less important apps at a time that suits you.
Create app folders
Create folders for key categories such as business, social, research, etc. Then move the relevant app icons into these folders. Check the web for latest instructions on how to do this for your phone model.
Be smart and create a folder for the most important group on the first screen. Move the less important app folder to another screen so you need to swipe to see them.
Delete photos and music
A streamlined phone responds quicker, allowing you access what you need as quickly as possible. Optimise your phone performance by deleting or backing up photos or music you don’t need. Most phones are configured so that photos save to your Google Drive.
I hope these tips hep you take back control of your smartphone. If you would like more information on how to declutter your life, gain more focus and get more done, contact BeProductive for information on productivity seminars, training or coaching.
By Moira Dunne