Nextaff Talent Blog

How to Actually Quit Checking Your Phone at Work

Posted October 21, 2019

How often do you check your smartphone? Do you keep refreshing your inbox when you should be focusing on your tasks at work? Your sneak peeks on social media and inbox refreshes actually kill your productivity at work, no matter how innocent your intention. 

Your work gets interrupted by the need to check for new alerts or messages, and these distractions can cost you nearly six hours every day. Task-switching feels easy, but the reality is that it can take almost 25 minutes to refocus your mind on a task. 

How Addicted Are You to Checking Your Phone?

Correcting this bad habit might not be as easy as you may think. Americans are truly addicted to their phones, checking their smartphone alerts an average of 80 times a day. That's every 12 minutes. Millennials check their smartphones and other devices about 150 times each day, while many other phone-dependent adults can't go more than four minutes without looking for alerts.

Does that sound like you? That constant compulsion can quickly turn into an obsession to stay in the know versus getting your job done. Don't let your productivity plummet and put your job at risk.

Staying Connected and Keeping Your Productivity Up

Quitting those quick-checks cold turkey is hard because the world grows more interconnected by the internet every day. 

But you have a few hours every day to get your work finished. Therefore, you must curb the urge to keep checking your phone to maintain your productivity, and stay on track with your career goals. It'll be tough, but a few boundaries will help you keep it all balanced: 

1. Check Your Phone Only at Scheduled Times

When your mind is anticipating an award (like a text), brain activity speeds up more during that time than when you actually receive the reward. That is what keeps you hooked on hitting refresh or staring at your notifications. You don't want to miss anything.

So, only check your phone at times you've scheduled in advance. You may want to pre-empt the fact that you'll break this rule, and stow your phone far away. That may mean putting your phone in your car or in a locked drawer. Your loved ones will also know exactly when you check your phone, too, which is beneficial in an emergency.

2. Turn Off Non-Essential Notifications

Turn off all notifications for social media. Hide apps from yourself in folders.

Set a text-only code word with family for major emergencies, so if they must leave a voicemail, you'll know to check it ASAP. 

3. Limit Message Checking on Weekends

When with loved ones, unless on call, limit your message checking on the weekends. Staying attached to your phone all the time will keep your mind preoccupied on other things, and not on spending quality time with those you care about. You should also allocate time to spend downtime with yourself. 

Finally, you may want to start small. Limit yourself to 30 minutes or one hour per day of social media usage or phone checking. Small steps tend to be easier to manage. 

Soon, you'll see your productivity soar again. You'll also find more meaning in your relationships and your career as you focus on each task with mindfulness. 

Contact us today for more tips on keeping your productivity up and building your dream career successfully.

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