You’re at work. You look at your cell phone. You see the blinking light. What do you do? Many of you stop whatever you are working on to check it out because it might be important. Technology has made communication a breeze because we are connected in multiple ways. But how much is our productivity affected because we are so connected? Chad Brooks, a senior writer for Business News Daily published an article called
In the article, he says the top 5 productivity killers are cellphones/texting, the internet, gossip, social media and email. It’s no small wonder that 4 out of the top 5 are linked to the blinking light on your cell phone. Unless you are gossiping on-line, then you would be 5 for 5.
Here’s how it happens. You see the blinking light on your phone. A quick browse of your Facebook news feed will show a funny meme or video. You promise yourself that you will look at it, maybe comment or share it, and then go right back to work. Well, the next thing you know, you have lost an hour because of that blinking light. If this sounds like you, I want to give you three ways that you can tame the blinking light and improve your productivity:
Designate some off-line time
For many of us, the first thing we do after we turn off our alarm clock is to check our email, social news feeds and text messages. I set aside 3 one-hour blocks each workday where I am disconnected. That way I can focus on the task in front of me with minimal interruption. I get so much work done during those one- hour blocks.
Manage your social news feed.
If you are in several Facebook groups, connect to them through the Facebook Groups App. Use the Pulse App to read articles in LinkedIn and use the “List” feature to manage your Twitter feed. That way you can scan the feeds that are relevant to your work day and look at the funny stuff later.
Tame the Text Messages
Remember, text messages and emails are passive forms of communications. Everything doesn’t require an immediate response. People can send you messages when it’s convenient for them and you should respond when it’s convenient for you. Most of my clients communicate with me by email or text. But if they have an emergency, they will generally pick up the phone and call me.
Now, there are a few more things that you can do to tame the blinking light but they should only be used in extreme circumstances. If you absolutely, positively can’t ignore the blinking light, then mute your phone and turn it over so you can’t see it. Also, turn off your email notifications on your computer. Just make sure you unmute your phone and turn on your notifications at the end of off-line time. Responding to those messages can be the last item on your agenda for the day. Otherwise, you may end up with several hundred email and dozens of notifications on your social media sites. Ask me how I know.