Use Your Smartphone to be More Productive
The average American work week is 34 hours. The week may feel longer due to commuting time and time needed to get ready, but those 34 hours disappear quickly once there, and the piles of work needing to completed continue to grow. How can you get more done without working more hours?
Be Well Rested
You Smartphone can help you to sleep better, and to awaken ready for a productive day. The screens of monitors, phones, and modern televisions emit blue light. This blue light can interfere with our sleep patterns if we are looking at one of these screens before bedtime, stealing as much as an hour of deep sleep. There are apps for your smartphone, tablet, or computer that can reduce the amount of blue light produced throughout the evening and into the night automatically. As the sun sets, these apps produce a warm red hue which reduces eyestrain and helps you to relax.
When it’s time to sleep, your phone can also help you to relax and fall asleep quickly using a white noise app. Doze off to the sounds of the ocean, gently rolling its tides over a serene beach that only you can see.
Apply Some Science to Working: The Pomodoro Technique
One method that many people have found to increase their productivity is the Pomodoro Technique. While it has a fancy name, it’s fairly simple to understand and to follow. You set a timer for 25 minutes and work without interruption on one task. After the 25 minutes is up, you take a break for 5 minutes to recharge your batteries. This break might simply be a walk over to the water cooler and back. Repeat the timer process if a task will require more than 25 minutes to complete. Longer periods of working or longer breaks can both be counterproductive, so try to stay as close as you can to the technique’s prescribed times.
There’s no need to bring your kitchen timer to work. There are free or paid apps for your smartphone that will help you to manage your Pomodoro time, counting away silently and displaying the time remaining.
Turn Off Phone Notifications
Our smartphones, while great tools able to run apps such as sleep aids and Pomodoro timers, also take valuable time out of every day. Constant pings from Facebook, Linkedin, emails, games, and texts are each a distraction and can interrupt our work dozens of times a day.
If you’re utilizing a Pomodoro timer app, some of these apps are capable of muting your phone’s notifications. You can also do this manually in your phone’s settings, or there are automation apps that can silence notifications based on your location. For example, Tasker (Android) or IFTTT (iOS) can silence notifications based on your geographic location, by the time of day, or by other triggers. If you want to get aggressive about your productive time, you might even consider using the airplane mode setting.
Our smartphones can help us to more productive because of all the tools and information they provide, but they can also become a distraction from the important work we need to complete. Make technology productive again by utilizing a few apps that will tame those wayward phone screens.