The advancement of smartphones means that a fully working small business can operate from the palm of the business owner’s hand. From accounting software to website design, social media management to lead organization, almost all small business tasks can be completed on a smartphone. While this is beneficial for those on a shoestring budget or for those who work on the go, it can also blur the lines between focusing on business and dealing with the rest of our lives that pop up on our phones throughout the day. Could our smartphones also be used to make us more productive?
One of the most important and productive uses of time is to actually have a break. This may seem counterintuitive, especially with overflowing to-do lists, but adequate breaks help you focus and ensure you are firing on all cylinders. Many use the app based around the Pomodoro technique which makes you work solidly for 22 minutes and then allows a short break. The timeframe is just long enough to prevent distractions. Scheduling breaks is crucial. For better productivity, people should do something in these breaks to allow them to properly focus away from work.
Utilizing and engaging in various forms of entertainment can actually help improve focus when we return to work. For example, playing mobile games that require some thinking, such as Words with Friends, helps improve memory and our attention spans. Furthermore, those who play online ganes can take advantage of poker as part of the live offering, which allows players to see a live dealer in front of them as they play. Playing online games have been proven to boost strategic thinking, which helps improve focus. Even more interesting, is that video games have been proven to improve hand-eye coordination and our ability to process information quicker.
One of the main issues that derails those who need to focus on work is the myriad of distractions that life throws at us, that seem ever-present, especially for those who use their smartphones for both business and pleasure. Some business owners ensure they have separate devices, but for those where this is impractical, many need a little extra help. For starters, you should ensure that unnecessary notifications are turned off.
Many install the Screentime app, which helps track where our time on mobile is spent and can help us block various apps for short bursts, which boosts productivity in the short term. Moreover, the Forest app turns not using your phone into a game. If you achieve the goal of not using your phone for whatever interval of time you are aiming for, a tree grows in your digital forest. This helps place the onus of not being distracted on your smartphone and less on your willpower.
Managing both time and distractions is key to succeeding as a small business, especially being in charge of yourself and thus being unable to exact punishment for uncompleted work. Time can be managed through giving yourself adequate breaks, while distractions can be mitigated against through apps on your smartphone. The smartphone is the most useful tool for small business owners – if they use it effectively.