With small, simple changes one can become much more focused, stress-free and productive. Think of how much time we spend with our mobiles in our hands or next to us. Even though I myself believe that I spend less time than an average person in my generation, it is still so much time. Mail writing, planning to do, writing blog post and publishing Instagram pictures. Those are some of my main tasks on my phone but apart from that it is easy to get caught up on various shopping sites, blogs or Instagrams and obviously I do that sometimes. Too often, I think. But what I'm more and more striving for is to work and do everything as efficiently and quickly as possible so that I can spend more time in "real life".
1. Turn off unnecessary notifications
It was long ago that I chose to turn notifications off, and now I don’t understand how I could stand it. In the past, I allowed notes on each new app I installed. Do you have notification turned on for Instagram, when someone likes an image perhaps? In that case, you have the chance to make a big difference in stress level with a very simple task - turn off the notification!
A dear friend of mine had (or I guess still have ;)) notifications on, with sound, at Aftonbladet - a Swedish newspaper. As soon as news was published it went off, and I actually brought up this topic with her, haha. Her reply was that she didn’t get stressed by it. Okay, maybe not, but think of how much information and impressions we take in during a day, the brain is in full use all of our time awake. Of course each distraction and thought that comes along takes a piece of energy. And I think it’s more noticeable once you do make some changes.
2. Decide a time when the phone is prohibited
To have a day without your phone can be so liberating! Peter once (yep, that’s how rarely I’m without my phone, that I remember this day sooo well) accidentally brought my phone with him during a whole day when I was working from home. Guess if I got a lot done? Crazy much! But a whole day can be a little frustrating if you work from home and want to pay bills, buy things or uh yes, update Instagram. Oh, sure you can handle one day! It for sure is my goal, one day a week it should be turned off. But most importantly, set a time in the evening every day when it is forbidden, to be able to unwind and sleep well. I try to keep my time at 22.00.
3. Set the timer when you are going to work and turn off the sound
To work efficiently, I usually turn on the stopwatch or timer, and set aside a specific time for me to do each task. It is extra important when I'm editing, writing blog posts or make other job-related things on my computer. It makes me push myself to work faster and to not allow distractions.
4. Stop procrastinating
One weakness I have got is that I'm lousy at responding to emails. I am often a bit too curious when my email pings (email and sms are the only ones that I’ve got sound and notifications on), so I read even though I’m just about to start working or head into the shower and therefore I easily forget to respond. It has made me realize that either I read and answer e-mails a scheduled date and time, or I read when I have the opportunity to respond directly. So the conclusion is: do not procrastinate things that takes so little time to do (otherwise schedule everything). A great advantage of the cell phone is that we on-the-go can pay bills as soon as they arrive, order stuff right as they’ve run out, book travels, well basically anything you need to do.
5. Do not be so accessible
We may be available 24/7, which means that for many it feels like a must to answer just when it rings or pings in Messenger. But try to take control sometimes, turn it off, live in the moment and do it when you feel like it. I often have night mode on daytime as well, if it's something important, they may call twice. It’s so easy to do yet it makes a huge difference.
6. Take advantage of public transport time
Do it the during your daily traveling time! Imagine how much an hour of travel time gets in a month - almost a full working day, and 75 hours in one year. Perfect time to devote to the things you can fix on your mobile phone!