Is your smartphone making your job easier, or just tying you to it?

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Question: “I find myself pretty addicted to my smartphone, but not in a good way. I’m always checking my work emails because I want to occupy myself in line, at a restaurant, riding in the back of a car, etc., and I want to be as 'dialed in' as the rest of the staff. I realized the other day that nothing on my phone can help me be more productive; all it does is make me feel like I’m at work. Has anyone found the key to breaking the addiction, or at least making this thing complete an admin task faster so I can actually save time with it?” – Roland, A/P Specialist

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Beverly November 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I also don’t have a “smart phone”. I figure I was able to live for quite a few year and worked for more than I want to remember without a phone that would call me at all times of the day or night. I don’t talk on the phone when I drive and I don’t text. When I am home and work wants me, they have to call my home phone because my little mobile phone is usually turned off. Unfortunately, at work I also check my emails way to often.

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Judy November 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I don’t have a smart phone nor do I want one. I’ve watched how my manager and others are constantly being reminded of this or that which not only interrupts their day but anyone sitting nearby…including me. Ugh.

I do struggle with watching my inbox for messages but I need to be vigilant because I work in the Sales department and those whom I support can’t be off their phones. However, I KNOW I check emails way more often than necessary and I turned off the alert years ago!

I am disciplined enough to not check work emails from home unless I’m out for an extended period of time.

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Christine November 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

Time off is time off. If you feel you must check your email while you are off, only do it once or twice that day. If it’s something that urgent, they will call you.

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Barbara November 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Angela, you make a good point about email and interruptions. I don’t use my personal phone for work so all my emails are contained to my computer. I really really strive to only check them two to three times a day, but if I don’t respond within 15 minutes,… I get a phone call inquiring if I got their email….yet another interruption.

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mary November 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I am a big offender of checking work emails. Since it was difficult to get anything done, I have started to check my at certain times during the day. When I am away from the office or at home, I try to only check the mail once- if at all. If someone really needs to contact me, they can call. (I refuse to answer if I am driving or in a conversation with someone.)

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Theresa Kasel November 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Checking email every time it comes in is a waste of time — even if you’re just standing in line.

Set a schedule, such as checking email at the top of the hour or first thing in the morning, just before lunch, mid-afternoon and then about 30 minutes before leaving work. If you want, you can set up an auto-reply that states when you check your email (Thank you for your email. I check my email at 8:00, 10:00, 1:00 and 4:00 Monday-Friday. If this is an urgent matter, please call me at ###-###-####) so the sender will know they need to call or come see you if it’s an urgent matter that can’t wait an hour or two for a response

I would simply turn the email notification on my smart phone off. If you truly get emails that need to be dealt with when you are off work in the evening and over the weekend, set aside a time in the evening and over the weekend that you check your work email.)

It’s your time off, if you must do something while standing in line, play Candy Crush.

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Robin November 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I find my smartphone useful in my personal life but sometimes it can get intrusive. When I don’t have my phone I am lost. When someone can’t get a hold of you they wonder if you are ignoring them. When there are people I can’t text a quick answer to I end up forgetting. I rarely use the actual phone function on the thing I call a phone. We almost need a training class on how to use our phones to be productive in our lives… does anyone have any useful aps they can pass on?

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Angela November 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I have found that email in general is a big time waster. I can spend my entire day answering and responding to emails and not get anything accomplished that adds real value. I too struggle with the addiction of constantly checking emails, but have learned to ignore it for portions of the day to work on other things. Email is also the biggest source of interrruption. How many times have you started working on something, only to quickly respond to an email, and then 60 minutes later, try to remember what you were working on before. My tips to help tame the madness: turn off the ‘new email’ pop up and icon, force myself to complete a tast (such as expense reports) completely before checking emails, categorize emails for easier reference, and learn to let go. I read every email I receive, but don’t respond to everything – sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day.

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