The phone rings.
Like Pavlov’s dog, you answer it. It’s a habit that most of us can’t resist.
Yet, if you want to get more work done, you need to remember that your phone is a tool that is meant to help you, not constantly interrupt your day.
Phones, Phones, Everywhere
Phones are everywhere in our lives.
You carry one everywhere you go. (You even turn around and go home if you forget it!)
You probably have another phone on your desk at work. (Although, I truly wonder why these days…) And you may even still have one at home.
Phones are truly everywhere. And besides communicating, they are good at one thing… interrupting your day.
Phones ring. And it is hard to resist the habitual urge to answer the phone, no matter where you are or what you are doing. People answer the phone in restaurants, in the bathroom, on dates, in checkout lines, and even in the movie theater.
Why do you feel the need to immediately answer the phone?
If you are busy, why not wait a moment (seconds even!) to finish what you are doing and then call the person back. After all, you know they too are carrying their phone. It’s not like you won’t be able to reach them.
You carry a phone so that you can be reached, not so you must be. Remember, your phone is for your convenience, not the person at the other end of the line.
To be more productive and take back control of your time, you must put your phone in it’s place, and remember who owns who.
Here are 7 Tips to Help You be More Productive with Your Phone:
- Don’t Answer the Phone When You are Busy – This one is simple. It doesn’t matter if you are in the bathroom or a restaurant, don’t answer the phone if you are busy. Don’t let your phone interrupt your life.
- Turn Your Phone Off – Yes, you can actually turn your phone off. Although it is rare these days that anyone actually does this. But, when you truly need uninterrupted time, simply turn your device off.
- Use Do Not Disturb Mode – Do Not Disturb mode is a great feature to keep your phone from ringing and buzzing when it shouldn’t. You can even let your “favorites” still ring through. Do Not Disturb is even better than silent mode, because it stops those silly notifications from buzzing your phone.
- Let it Go to Voicemail – Every phone has a personal assistant ready to deal with callers, it’s called Voicemail. Yet, most people don’t even use it these days. Let calls go to voicemail and then see what messages you actually get. You’ll be surprised how many calls didn’t need to be given attention in the first place.
- Block Unwanted Callers – If you are getting solicitations or calls from people you don’t want to hear from, block them from ringing your phone. Add them to your “blocked callers” list and they won’t be able to interrupt you again.
- Respond with a Text – If you can’t answer a call, often you can respond with a single tap. On the iPhone, you can send a text message with a tap from the lock screen telling the caller your situation.
- Only Answer Callers That You Know – Saving one of my favorite tips for last. Ignore any calls you get from numbers that do not come up in your address book. If you don’t know who is calling, then do not answer it. This one trick can prevent a tremendous amount of unneeded calls. And again, if it is someone who does need to reach you, they can leave a message.
Not Answering the Phone is Difficult
When your phone rings, you want to answer it. You want to acknowledge the call. Or you just have to know who is calling.
The truth is it can wait, even if just for a few seconds.
If the call is truly important or an emergency, they will immediately ring back. If not, they will leave a message.
Stop letting your phone interrupt your day, and you’ll be surprised just how much more in control you will feel.
Question: Does your phone control you or do you control your phone? Do you answer it every time it rings? You can leave a comment by clicking here.