6 Productivity Phone Hacks
6 Productivity Phone Hacks
The most powerful tool the world has ever known is also the most distracting freaking thing we have ever seen. The average person checks their phone every 12 minutes. Over 80 times a day we have our heads buried in our phones. We are more addicted psychologically to our phones than smokers are to their cigarettes. I think once we make that comparison, it makes it a little easier to grasp that something needs to change. Below are 7 apps and hacks that can actually increase your productivity and make your phone work for you.
1. To Do Lists
We all have shit to do. How often do you write it down? Most of us reading this are going to say, “Not enough”. Writing down tasks that need to get completed is not a simple matter of organization. Writing down tasks helps dump information from your brain to create more creativity. It will help rid the mind of anxiety from the chaos of life, develop structure the brain enjoys, and actually record and show progress day-to-day that we can look back to and witness.
Apps like Todoist allow you to create tasks, assign priorities and categories, share them with others, integrate them with other apps, further elaborate on tasks, and set due dates. You can see a 10,000 foot view of a task or the day ahead, organize them, add comments, and edit/track progress on tasks.
2. Set a Timer
Use the phone to keep you on track for efficient work and rest breaks. If you already have the Push Press Timer for fitness needs, you can easily set your Tabata Timer app to 25 minutes work, 15 minutes rest for several hours to follow the Pomodoro Technique we’ve outlined in our working from home article. FocusTimer is another great app that’s specifically geared toward timing and organizing productivity.
3. Delete. Those. Apps.
You already know what I’m talking about. Go check the amount of time you’re spending daily and weekly on certain apps like Instagram and Facebook. It ranges from several hours a week to several hours a DAY for most of us. Every time we get distracted, it often takes over TWENTY-THREE MINUTES to get back on track. This is because those damn algorithms are working their magic to put stuff in front of our eyeballs that we are most likely to pay attention and become distracted. The best way to battle this is simply to delete the apps from your phone. When you want to check your social media account, you can log in from a browser or download the app, log in, log out, and then delete the app. This will start training your mind from subconsciously picking up your phone and swiping to that app from pure boredom and addiction. I found myself literally picking up my phone and swiping through my apps for no reason at all. To offset this, I ended up putting all the apps into folders on a single page. It helped stop me from mindlessly grabbing my phone and swiping apps to distract myself.
4. Turn Off Notifications
All of them. You’ll be fine. You don’t need a constant barrage of stuff coming in to make your phone vibrate, make noise, and show up on your lock screen just so you can look over and get distracted AGAIN. Turn them off. When you need an Uber or are waiting for delivery you can simply be mindful and keep checking your phone.
5. Make Your Camera Store Info
Free up your wallet and purse with all the cards you don’t physically need. You can take pictures of all the rewards and membership cards you have and put them all in a designated folder. This way you can easily pull the card up to provide the number or have them scanned right from your phone. Remember you can take photos of where you parked, business cards you’re given (that you’re either going to lose or clutter up your car) to reference later, and paper receipts for purchases.
6. Make Your Phone Read to You
With the “Speak Screen” feature in iOS, you can have your device read whatever’s on the screen to you just by swiping two fingers down from the top of the page. It can read just about anything, from settings pages to web sites to eBooks. While it’s obviously useful if you have some form of visual impairment, it can also be really handy when you want to catch up on your reading but don’t want your eyes glued to a screen.
To enable it, simply head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech. Then, enable “Speak Screen.” From there, you should be able to swipe down from any screen and your device will start reading. A small toolbar will pop up, allowing you to adjust the speed and pause directly from the screen.
Don’t get us wrong; we love the smartphone. We love everything it offers and does for us. But we would like to see the smartphone help us to be more productive and reach our goals, rather than constantly distract us from what we need to accomplish.