With the holiday season behind us, it is time to change our smartphone habits to ensure that we remain productive while striking the ideal work-life balance. Alcatel offers some tips for getting the most from your smartphone for work, without letting it dominate your personal time.
1. Be mindful of the distractions
A smartphone is like your own personal distraction machine, full of news, social media, messaging and gaming apps to play with. It’s important to stay focused at work, so try to avoid using these apps at the office. If you’re finding that you are not as productive as you’d like to be, your smartphone usage habits might be to blame.
Consider installing an app like Quality Time or App Usage to monitor how much time you are spending on your favourite apps and checking your phone. Some apps will alert you when you’re spending a lot of time on Facebook or Instagram These apps can help you to cut back on the time-wasting and refocus on your productive work.
2. Practice good smartphone etiquette
To ensure that smartphones are not a distraction or irritation in the workplace, it’s important to set boundaries around when and how you use your device. This often comes down to common courtesy and ensuring that you are engaged in your interactions with others. Some tips include:
1. Put your phone away during face-to-face meetings, unless you are expecting a truly urgent call.
2. Keep your ringtone volume and message notification tones down to a respectful volume.
3. If you must take a personal call at work, have your conversation outside the shared office spaces and keep it short.
4. Don’t switch on your speakerphone – rather use earphones.
3. Tune out when it’s home time
The upside of the smartphone is that it lets you get stuff done wherever you are, freeing you from the constraints of working 9-5 in an office. But the downside is that many of us never really disconnect from work when we go home – there is always a Slack message or an email that demands attention.
Learn to tune out from work-related messages when you go home in the evening until your next workday starts. And when you’re on leave, treat yourself to some tech-free days. If you don’t have the self-discipline to do so unaided, consider an app like OFFTIME. It lets you block calls and messages from certain contacts and to restrict access to certain apps during certain times of the day.