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Why Decluttering Your Phone Can Increase Your Productivity

Why Decluttering Your Phone Can Increase Your Productivity

With 97% of adults owning a phone, 53% of those being smart phones, and 29% saying their cell phone is the one thing they can’t live without, it’s understandable that we spend lots of time on our phone.  From text messaging, to emails, to a variety of apps, to even still calling on occasion, cell phones are quickly becoming the epicenter of social world.

As the importance of the cell phone increases, the amount of time used on the phone increases.  And anything that takes much of your time can help increase or decrease your productivity.  Have thought about how your phone is laid out recently?  Do you organize your phone as often as you organize your desk or your calendar?  Does your phone help you stay organized and productive or hinder you?

Learn why decluttering your phone can increase your productivity in these six simple steps.

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Don’t be afraid to delete apps.

If you’re like me, you download every app your friends tell you about or that I read about on blogs like this.  I’m always looking for new, great apps that will help me be productive and help me solve problems.  I’ve also found that 90% of these apps don’t meet my needs.  So when that’s decided, I delete them.  I suggest you to declutter your phone. It only has so much valuable real estate.  Make sure you only keep the apps you use, or instead of making you more productive, they will slow you down.

Keep your inbox clean.

If you check your mail on your phone, keep your mailbox clean and organized.  The goal of any mailbox should be to keep the inbox clean.  Take action on your emails immediately or put them in a folder based on priority to get to when you’re your computer or tablet and have more time.  You can save hours when you need to be really productive if you curate your email box with your phone in real time.

Create an organization system that makes sense for you.

Does your phone screen homepage have the apps that you use each and every day?  If not, put them there.  While each smartphone system does it differently, the most important apps should get the prime real-estate.  After that, sort your apps by category and sort most used to the top, prime spots within the category.  The more time you spend looking for an app, the less productive it makes you!  And those games?  Make them hard to get to!  They are time suckers!

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Keep your calendar synched, up-to-date, and clean.

Does your calendar have every one of your Facebook friend’s birthdays, every holiday, each days sunrise time, or any other number of extra data that junks up your calendar?

These extras may have seemed like a good idea when you added them, but they make your calendar too busy.  Your calendar can be a powerful tool to keep your productive.  At a quick glance, you should get an idea of how your day shapes up and what you need to accomplish.  Anything that hinders that goal needs to be cut immediately.

Prune your push notifications & automatic messages.

Do you really need 8 different news sources telling you the same info? Do you need every game you’ve ever downloaded reminding you that you haven’t played in 8 hours?

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Go to your settings and turn off push notifications for the apps that are un-important.  Checking your phone takes valuable time towards productivity.  If you’re getting tons of push notifications each and every day, you’ll spend too much time checking and not enough time doing.

Use alerts & notifications correctly.

One of the most powerful tools that most smartphones possess is a robust notification and alert system.  These alarms don’t have to just be used to a second wake up call!  Schedule an alert two hours before for your doctors visit or set a reminder to call you friend after an important interview.  But don’t over-do it!  If you find your over-scheduling, this is a perfect opportunity to declutter.  Alerts & notifications are only useful if they remind you to take action.  If not, they are just hinder productivity and create more noise.

A phone can be a great tool to help with productivity.  Decluttering your phone on a consistent basis will help you be more productive and make your life that much easier.

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Featured photo credit: Stephan Geye via flickr.com

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Kyle Robbins

Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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