What would you say the most important thing for any entrepreneur is? Money? Success? Well, there’s no doubt that they’re definitely key elements for a business. However, the REAL thing a solopreneur would do anything to get more of is… TIME! Actually, any busy person in the world would. If you have more time, you can think more, create more and – in the end – dedicate more time to your business.
So what can help you most when you need something quick? Like contacting someone immediately, checking something on the go, calculating a couple of numbers which don’t seem to fit, or even checking the weather forecast? You could say your smartphone. What an invention, right? It even comes with productivity apps that make you check your phone even more often than you did before… Just to check whether you’re being productive enough. Well, heck, no! If you’re checking an app to check your focus, chances are that your focus isn’t that high, right?
As much as I love electronic devices, I’m kind of starting to hate my cell phone. It may sound a bit melodramatic, but being interrupted with a message, a ringtone or whatever sounds my beautiful rosé-gold phone makes feels intruding, to say the least. Yep. And I know that I can mute it. I actually do it. I try to check my phone only a couple of times a day from Mondays to Fridays. But then I find myself justifying my not having answered before. Giving all kinds of reasons to those people who ask why I have a phone in the first place if I’m not gonna answer it. And although I think to myself “I have a smartphone to use it when I need it – not when you do,” I don’t say that out loud, of course. I have to come up with something like “Sorry, I mute my phone at work”. Nobody gets it though. Whatever.
And it’s not only what other people may need from you what can become a time sucker. Your smartphone is a source of distractions, specially designed to do that: Distract you. And – oh, man! – do they succeed!! Take social media apps, for instance. Do you relate to any of these scenarios?
- You get all sucked in when you just wanna do a “quick check.” Before you can even notice, you’ve been swiping your finger 30 minutes non-stop!
- Logging into your social media accounts after a while lets you feel remorseful for not sharing, commenting, or checking your people’s posts often enough.
- The comparison trap is ENORM, both in private and business. In the same way nobody would post how boring their life is, no entrepreneur would share how unsuccessful he is, so everybody seems mega-successful, happy, and as if they’re having the best time of their lives!
- The fake trap is even worse! You feel “forced” to post pictures of you having the best time of your life… When you have probably been working all night long. And you know why? Because you had to answer calls, respond to chat messages, or quickly check your Insta account! That’s why you had no time to work but at night. Ironic, right?
Simple tricks to let your smartphone work for you – Not against you
It’s called SMARTphone for a reason, so let’s also be smart and use our phones to our advantage, shall we? Now, if you have something near to smartphone addiction, these steps may seem too radical, but believe me, there’s life after your screens.
- So the first thing you could do is muting your phone whenever you need to get some focus. Even though you believe that you can control yourself and not check who’s calling or writing, your mind won’t be likely able to control herself. You may be extremely focused on writing your new book, but when you hear that appealing sound, your subconscious self is going to start wondering who’s calling, whether it is an emergency or – who knows – whether you’re going to be the next Oscar ceremony host… And what do you do? You end checking your phone. Answering it. Thinking about that answer you gave. And. And. And. So MUTE YOUR PHONE!
- On the same note, why don’t you go ahead and turn off all onscreen notifications? Get used to having to actually open the app you need to check if someone posted something new. Make it harder for yourself to access those messages. You don’t really need to know what your cousin pinned the minute you get the notification, do you? So better turn notifications off and don’t get tempted.
- Set yourself some fix times to check your emails and your messages. At least just for the beginning. Once you get used to living without messages for a couple of minutes in a row, you can loosen up those check-in times. You’ll feel so liberated – You’ll see!!
- Discard all those excuses you give yourself. Nope, the world isn’t gonna end if you wait to answer your Messenger. Think about it. Would you answer your phone if you were at the dentist? And if you were at a job interview? Don’t you think the world can wait an hour for you to check your phone? Unless you’re a heart surgeon on call, of course.
- Now this one is going to feel kind of hard, but try it for a couple of weeks and you’ll see how enriching it can be: Don’t take your phone out while you’re with someone else – having dinner, for instance. No more putting your cell phone on the table. No more checking what whatever friend has on her mind right now. Nope. Your hubby doesn’t count either. Be present. Have a normal – and real! – conversation. It’s easier than you think. You just have to leave your phone in your handbag.
I’m well aware of what you can be thinking of me right now. And no, I don’t grow my own vegetables in my backyard and have an electromagnetic-field-free home. I actually love my gadgets. I have as many as I can afford. It’s just that I realized how much of my time gets lost with irrelevant notifications and messages. And how little spare time I have left to actually do fun things.
So I made up my mind to change it once and for all. And this is something which you could use, too. So what do you say? Do you dare to try and put your phone away and be mindful? If you do, leave me a message below. How was it? How did it make you feel? And if you don’t wanna do it, why is that?
PS. Are you born to freelance?