Cell phones are incredibly useful for a whole host of reasons. Most people could not imagine working or even getting through a typical day without them, but there’s a dark side to this tech. There are, as Tristan Harris said in a recent TED Talk, a hundred people at a handful of tech companies who are actively engaged in trying to steal our attention, a little bit at a time. Everything from notifications to autoplay videos, these tech companies want us to spend more and more time on our phones.
How do we solve this? Moderation.
Here are some tips on reducing your dependence on your phones.
- Turn off push notifications. You don’t need to know that your mom liked your Facebook post or that someone shared your Tweet. The constant notifications interrupt productivity and concentration. One study suggested that, once your thoughts have been interrupted—even by something simple as a ding on your phone—it takes 10 to 18 minutes to get your concentration back. Interrupt your thought process a couple of times an hour, and you can see how quickly a day can turn unproductive.
- Don’t carry your phone around with you. Put it in a drawer or briefcase and leave it there. If you are waiting for a call, have them call you at your work number.
- At home, keep your phone out of the bedroom. Too many people spend time on their phones lying in bed. This causes lack of sleep thanks to the blue light cell phones give off. If you rely on your phone for your alarm clock, try placing it away from where you may be tempted to reach for it.
- If you have kids, encourage them to practice these tips as well. There’s a link between depression, anxiety and social media in children, so limiting their time on these sites is a must.
Follow these steps and you’ll find how much more rested and accomplished you can feel every day.
For more productivity tips, contact Vanguard Resources.