Everywhere you turn, people have their phone in hand—some while crossing busy intersections, driving, at theaters or at public gatherings. Some even in the middle of dinner. The late Dr. Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, warned us that technology has a way of taking over quickly without us realizing.
Fortunately, we can take charge of our own behaviors. We don’t have to be grasping that little gadget all day. Here are four tips to help you to retain control of the powerful, hand-held device that you own, covet, and count on so often throughout the day.
1) Set aside times throughout the day to put down your phone.
It is to your benefit to have stretches throughout the day when you are not giving instant attention to the latest email, text, or news. Use this time to focus, disconnect and breathe.
2) Have a purpose in mind when you do use your cell phone.
If you have calls to make, it’s often productive to make them all in the same sitting. If you’re checking the news, listening to music or reviewing photographs, decide in advance how much time you will devote to that endeavor before turning back to what you were working on.
3) Consider the type of apps available that will help you to complete tasks faster or make your career or life easier.
Many people load up phone with apps, but they don’t use most them. However, a handful of high-utility apps can provide great benefit to you. Ask around. What are your peers, friends and relatives using? What have they found to be most effective?
4) Ban the phone from the bedroom.
The light and stimulation you get when using your phone can delay the onset of sleep and impact your ability to rest soundly. Turn off devices an hour before turning in and you could wake up refreshed and ready for another day.
Jeff Davidson is “The Work-Life Balance Expert.” His next book is Everyday Project Management (Berrett-Koehler, Sept 3, 2019, 267 pages). He speaks to organizations that seek to enhance overall productivity by improving the work-life balance of their people. Visit breathingspace.com for more information.