Swipe right, swipe left
These are activities that make up the majority of our day. When was the last time you went a day without your smartphone? You probably can’t remember ever going purposefully without your phone. We are surrounded with so much technology that it is so hard keeping up with the latest features. Right from when you wake up to check the time, to the time you spend checking social media for the latest news or keeping up with your surroundings to the time you set alarms on your smartphones; technology is constantly there to offer your assistance. With access to so much technology, are we getting better at being more productive or is all it a façade?
Our smartphones are amazing tools for productivity, when used appropriately but only few of us do this. Rather than provide assistance with the tasks we need to accomplish, our phones have become instruments of distractions. You might think you are easily on and reachable but so are you for stressful team messages, annoying emails and a constant inflow of work.
If you feel less productive, chances are your technology devices are dragging you down. Technology has caused massive improvements in the world (moving money around without leaving where you are) . There are also downside effects depending heavily on it. Study has shown you can easily be addicted to your devices as you would any drug that produces dopamine, and surely with that addiction comes a down rail in your productivity and creativity level.
We check our smartphones not because we heard a ring, heard the notification sound or see the red light blinking, but solely because we have in-built habits that tell us to do it “impulsively”. We need to look for ways to help us put its constant pull under control and build a better relationship that puts us in control of when and how we use it.
Here are activities that could help improve your productivity
1. Reduce your screen time
Spending so much time on your screen switching from one social media app to another really just kills your creative side. Constantly stuck to your screen makes you lose your natural curiosity and sense of wonder because you have this feeling of having seen it all.
Too much screen time makes people who were raised on technology seem uninterested and interesting; this puts them at a greater risk of stunted creativity.
2. Stop procrastinating
We are all guilty of this in one way or the other- we keep telling ourselves we would get around to doing that task but we end up not doing it.
Follow the 5 mins rule; what this means is that you spend a minimum of 5 mins on the task. The upside to this rule is that you end up doing the whole task without you even knowing. The hardest thing to do is start but once you have, there is no stopping you.
3. Set your Priorities
Laura Vanderkam said it’s not about how much time you actually have– instead, it’s about how you choose to spend that time. Not being able to understand what your priority is, what should come first on your list; it leaves you feeling overwhelmed and overburdened because you want to finish everything on your list at the same time. This can be avoided if you set your priority- identify which tasks come first and which comes last. This enables you to efficiently manage your time and take control of your day.
4. Reduce your exposure to distractions
We lose focus not because we want to but because our phone keeps buzzing with various messages and we just cannot help ourselves; we want to see what is going on. There are times when you are fully immersed in a task and just a single pop-up notification disrupts your flow state causing your attention to be splitted; This stops you from achieving the full potential you could have realized on that task. This can be curtailed if you reduce how exposed you are to things that could easily distract you.
5. Utilize your attention
In this evolution of technology we are in right now, we all know the scarce commodity is our attention, right?
How we use and utilize it is up to us. These days we are fed with so much information from every angle than we can even process. We think being up-to-date, being inundated with the current on-goings of the country does us a lot of good; it does us some good, yes but not as much as we think. What we have done is spent valuable time that should have brought us a step closer to achieving our goals and dream; to catching up on the latest happenings.
6. Create a work- habits
Figure out what part of the day you are most proactive, it helps us know what time of the day we should spend working and what time of the day we should take our breaks. This way we form a work-habits that enable us to be more productive as this would help us come to the understanding of how our mind works.
7. Write down your goals for the day
Before you go into your day and begin all you have to do, make sure you have set your intentions; this includes writing down the goals you want to achieve for that day. It is best this is done in the early mornings, when your brain is clear and free of any distracting or wandering thoughts. You can write down these goals; they will help you serve as a gentle reminder of what you are meant to accomplish today. This idea doesn’t just help you only to realign whenever you are off track, it also helps to be focused and not lose sight of what you set out to accomplish that day.
While all of these would help you improve your productivity level without heavily relying on our smartphones, we need to understand that our smartphones are not the only culprits but also our bad smartphone usage we’ve built. By trying to create a better use culture around our smartphones, we can start to use them on our terms and not theirs and watch how our productivity rate increases greatly with this move.