7 Time Management Mistakes You Are Making With Your Smartphone

Many people use a smartphone as part of their time management strategy.

From the first PDA’s to the newest phones, technology has forever changed our time management capabilities.

It has allowed us to use simpler, more effective tools.  We have the power to access information and organize in ways never before possible.

However, sometimes it can be too much.  Sometimes it seems that our smartphones are taking over our lives.  They can complicate things as much as the alleviate them.

Are you being the most effective you can with your smartphone?  Are you using it or is it using you?

Here are some of the common smartphone time management mistakes…

Smartphone Pitfalls

There are pitfalls in using any tool.  The smartphone is no exception.

You can let it help you with your organization or you can let it take complicate your life and take up all your time.

Some people use all the power and functionality of their smartphone.  Others only use a few features.  No matter which side you are on, here  are 7 Time Managment Mistakes to Avoid Making with Your Smartphone:

  1. Not Using a Synced Calendar – One of the most powerful smartphone features is the ability to sync your information across multiple platforms/devices.  Ensure that your calendar is synched to your desktop and even home PC.  This will allow you to maintain one calendar instead of many separate ones.  The same is true for your contacts and todo items.
  2. Answering It All the Time – One of the biggest problems with phones… is that they ring.  They interrupt your day and productivity.  Most people have a Pavlovian response to answering their phone.  However, remember that your phone is for your convenience.  Do not let others interrupt if you are in the middle of something.
  3. Checking Your Email 278 Times a Day – Just because you can access your email from your phone, doesn’t mean you need to do it every time you have a 30 second break.  Resist the urge to constantly check your email.  And by all means, turn off your work email when you are not working.
  4. Not Backing It Up - What information would you lose if you lost your phone?  Todos, contacts, appointments, pictures?  For many people, their smartphone is their personal computer.  Make sure your information is backed up.  There are many ways to do this these days depending on your phone.  (The iPhone backs itself up each time you sync it.)
  5. Having a Phone That is Too Complicated For You – I often say, “Use Tools You’ll Use.”  In other words, choose tools that you like and are comfortable with and you will be much more likely to continue using them.  The mistake many people make is to buy the newest most complicated phone available.  If you are not technology oriented, then you may be hindering your productivity not helping it.  Pick one that suits your needs and level of experience.
  6. Using the Camera Only for Pictures – If you are only using your smartphone’s camera to take pictures of your kids or cat, then you are missing out.  Your smartphone’s camera can be used to capture all kinds of information.  Whiteboards.  Notes. Reminders.  (Where did I park?)  Documents.  And more.  There are some great applications to help you manage your information pictures.  (Check out Evernote.)
  7. Not Keeping It Visible – This one may sound counterintuitive.  As we talk about smartphones taking over our lives, one of the mistakes people make is not looking at their phone until it is too late.  With a smartphone, you cannot “see” your todo list or calendar unless you turn the device on.  One advantage of a paper-based system is that it is always visible.  Visibility leads to action.  Make sure you do not file your todos and other info away on your smartphone, never to look at it again.

Smartly Using Your Phone

Smartphones have forever changed our lives and world.

The allow us to do amazing things.  However, they can complicate our lives, too.

Ensure that you are using your smartphone and not the other way around.

What time management mistakes do you make with your smartphone?  What are you best tips?

No time for time management? Check out my online course designed to jump start your productivity! Take it online on your time and pace. As well, get direct access to me for advice and questions. Get details or enroll now by clicking here!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/franjeanes Fran Jeanes

    I absolutely agree with #6. I use my phone’s camera for recording so much – using Evernote makes my life easier too.

    Thanks for the post.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

      Fran, me too! And Evernote makes it very easy to retrieve them from almost anywhere…

  • Sarah Diekmab

    I use my phone to take photos of the recipe I want to cook before I go shopping – easier, faster and saves paper!

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com Craig Jarrow

      Sarah – Love this one! Great use of the camera!

      I sometimes take pictures of the store hours of small businesses that might not have a website. (Like my barber.)

  • http://www.thinkblotcommunications.com Christy Smith

    So you got me on a few of these. :) I will say that having access to my email all the time means that I can do a quick prioritization of my to-do’s when I return to the office (if I can’t do what needs to be done from my phone). I’ve been getting better at using Apps that utilize the camera for things like importing contact info from a business card or getting additional information from bar codes, etc. I’m a work in progress and you’ve given me some great ideas for improvement here.

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  • http://www.robotnik.com/ oceanlogic

    One word: Evernote on my iPhone…a great App.

  • http://www.robotnik.com/ oceanlogic

    One word: Evernote on my iPhone…a great App.

  • TMNinja

    Thanks!

    Love Evernote! :)

    If you haven’t seen it… check out my post here…

    http://tmninja.us/mHOs9I

  • suburbanviking

    I have used my iPhone to take a picture of the gas pump when it has run out of receipt paper. It allows me to later enter it into my budget app.

  • Daniel

    A splendid article the end is just perfect, smartphone addiction is really bad and yes a time comes when the device uses you, smartphones were invented so that we could do our petty work not work on it as one would on a computer, there are great apps for smartphones which could help us manage our time. I would here like to add that I recently downloaded the activity log G2 app for my android smartphone which functions on my smartphone, laptop and also works as a webapp and though it has many great features I for one loved the Charting and Analysis feature, as it scared me a lot and helped me realize how much of my time I was wasting and spending on my smartphone on useless tasks. You should
    really check it out, anyways thanks for
    such good info Craig.