Is the Smartphone Stoop Killing Your Productivity?

If you’re a parent, you probably long for the good old days you grew up in when kids actually played kickball outside instead of Pokemon Go on their phones. But it’s not just kids mesmerized by virtual toys (or playing Pokemon Go, which seems to have no age limits).

The “smartphone stoop” is giving us all more than just neck pain.

Our smart phones have us connected all the time – mostly a good thing. But while our phones can help us work more efficiently, they can also be a huge time suck if we let them. With smart phones comes distraction, and with distraction comes ineffectiveness. It’s not surprising that the number one request I get from sales people is for help with time management.

Success in sales demands scheduling oneself routinely and working with focus and discipline. That means we have to manage our phones or they will manage us.

Here are three ways to make the phone enable you to work closer to the money:

  1. Make sure your electronic calendar at work syncs with your phone. Organize your tasks in three buckets: Research, Business Development, and Administrative Work – and schedule a recurring “appointment” with time allotted for each bucket. When a reminder pops up, it’s time to disengage from one bucket of tasks and move to another whether you’re at your desk or on the road. For example, if you’re reading email and it’s time for Business Development, the reminder will prompt your brain to switch focus.
  2. Schedule one hour of dedicated phone time in your Business Development bucket (which should be the bucket with the most time allocated!). Yes, we reach buying influences through email, texting, LinkedIn, Twitter and more today, but staffing is a relationship business and relationships are nurtured personally, not just digitally. It’s amazing how many calls you can make in one “power hour” that will never happen if not scheduled. You can make these calls from the road on your phone.
  3. Schedule a few breaks for “social time” in 10-minute blocks to check in on your social sites. In this way, you won’t feel stressed out if you’re not responding to Snaps and group-chats. Your peeps will start to see your patterns and know they’re not going to get an instantaneous answer. We teach people how to treat us.

We are all victims of the smartphone stoop. But your phone can be both your friend and your foe in managing your time – and how much money you earn, in the case of salespeople. Make that phone work for you, not against you!

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