The Addiction is Real
“Mom. Mommm, hello? Mommmmmmm, gosh...can you stop looking at your phone!”
I’m so guilty of this and I bet you can relate to this exchange of words from someone close to you too.
The reality is that these small rectangles that we carry with us everywhere are addictive and it’s only getting worse.
In a very recent study, they found that we check our phones on average 58 times a day and spend almost 4 hours a day staring at that little screen!
So how do you spend less time on your phone and make it work for you not against you?
11 Time-Saving Tips That You Should Try and How to Use Your Phone to Work for You
I have tested and used these time-saving strategies along with many of my clients. I’m confident they will help you save time and, (as a bonus) be more present in the moment with your loved ones.
1). Don’t Touch Your Phone for the First 30 minutes After you Wake up
Ok, you've probably heard this one before. But have you tried it?
When we wake up to our phones, we start our day from a place of “reaction” as opposed to a place of “intention”. We find ourselves worrying about that work email, comparing ourselves to our friend who apparently had the most amazing family vacation, or getting stressed out at our lengthy list of reminders or to-do’s.
Apart from the tendency to put us in the wrong mindset, our phone and all it’s shiny apps are designed to suck us into the vortex of scrolling and before we know it 20 minutes have gone by and we need to get the kids up! Give your mind and body the space it needs in the morning to start with focus and direction. Oh, and get the kids to school on time.
2). Turn off Your Notifications
These notifications are constant distractions and since the average person touches their phone every 6 minutes, it’s a trap we often fall in to.
It’s been studied that it can take us up to 20 minutes to get back on task after being distracted. And since we are constantly checking our phones, these distractions can add up to over 3 hours of wasted time a day! What could you do with an extra 3 1/2 hours a day?
These apps are vying for your attention. So let’s start with the first line of defense...Turn off those damn notifications.
Need a little help? Check out this link for a step-by-step guide and some additional tips.
3). Move Your Distracting Apps
If Tip #2 isn’t enough...Move any distracting apps a few pages deep on the face of your cell phone. Just seeing those little beckoning notifications can be too hard for us to resist sometimes and lead us down a rabbit hole of wasted time.
Simply hold down on your app of choice and keep sliding it over until you are pages deep and have to go searching for it to check your updates. I was shocked at how much this little hack helped keep me off of my time-sucking apps and made me much more productive.
4). Remove the Culprit From the Room
As a work-from-home Mom, I find it can help to physically remove your phone from the room you're working in. Sometimes the distraction from the vibration, the light flicker after a notification or ding is too much for you to resist.
5). Turn it Off
Here’s a crazy idea...turn your phone off or at least put it on “airplane mode”. I know, I know...it can cause a little anxiety, especially as a mama because we always have to be available in the event there’s an emergency or one of our kids needs us.
But you can allow certain numbers to ring through even in the event that airplane mode is on, this way you can rest easy while being more productive.
6). Block Your Time
Speaking of being more productive, let’s share some ways in which these little devices can help us save more time and be more efficient when it comes to our busy lives.
Use your phone as a timer. Set 10/30/60 minute timers and give yourself this undistracted time to meal prep, read to your kids, fold a load of laundry, etc. When the timer goes off, simply stop to take a 5-10 minutes break and then you can repeat this process with another project or to-do.
By using these small blocks of time, you are more likely to stay focused, engaged and efficient in your efforts. You'll be amazed at how much more you will be able to get done!
7). Utilize Your Calendar
Utilize your digital calendar such as Google Calendar, to write out all your upcoming events and daily to-do’s. Check it once or twice daily to keep abreast of what’s going on that day.
This saves you tons of time from fumbling through your texts and emails for that date and time you can't remember. As an added bonus, I started typing in the address of the event in my calendar which also saved me time.
8). Sync Your Calendars
My guess is that you’re not the only one with things to do in your household. Coordinate and sync your calendar with other family members to keep track of your family’s schedule and not double book on things like softball practice or date night.
Trust me, this will not only save you from unwanted arguments over who forgot what event, but it will also help in prioritizing your to-do’s and save you time trying to scramble when you have 3 events overlapping each other.
9). Music to my Ears
Music is powerful. It raises your mood and can calm you down. When working, try listening to a playlist that promotes focus. While cooking, put on your favorite dance playlist and jam out, and when getting ready for bed, try soothing music or a meditation.
The results are similar to Tip #6. It keeps you focused and while it may not save you time per se, it certainly helps time to go by faster and/or makes the task more enjoyable.
As I’m writing this, I am listening to 30 minutes of “focus music”. Haven’t tried it...give it a whirl!
10). Don’t Use it to "Unwind" at Night
Contrary to our intent, we are most susceptible to comparison-itis at the end of a long day, which actually gets us worked up and not unwound. Instead try something more relaxing and uplifting like reading a book, journaling or meditating.
You may wonder how using our phones at night can help us to save time, but by clinging to them until the wee hours we rob ourselves of much needed deep sleep that helps us stay focused the next day and of course be more productive.
11). Don’t Touch Your Phone for the Last 30 Minutes of the day
Similar to your new routine in Tip #1 and piggy-backing on Tip #10, try not to touch your phone for the last 30 minutes of the day. Much like starting our day, it’s proven that using our phones right before bed keeps our minds active, can start a loop of negative self-talk and also makes it more difficult to ease into sleep.
The goal before we lay our head down is to put ourselves in a more relaxing state and not get our minds all worked up again. The better rested we are the better we can be at slaying our goals the next day.
Have you tried any of these tips? If not, which are you gonna start today?
I promise if you start by just implementing one of these time saving tips you will see a great improvement in your productivity, you’ll reduce wasted time scrolling and you will be more present with your family and friends.
Click Here to grab your FREE 20+ page workbook that is jam packed with helpful tips, tools and how-to’s to get you back on track.