Just because they’re often hailed as productivity tools doesn’t mean smartphones are always helpful. How do you draw the line between what’s helping and hurting?
That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum:
“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, etc., and I want to be as ‘dialed in’ as the rest of the staff. I realized 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
We asked some experts to offer their take on the issue.
Start out by setting some rules for yourself so you aren’t always looking at your phone, says Amy Metherell, owner of a virtual-assistant business. “For example, if I’m doing something away from home, I will only check my phone once or twice while I’m out. I also have my email set to only be received when I manually check it (not pushed automatically)."
You should also make sure you’re not mindlessly passing time on your phone, “If you are not accomplishing something that will ‘get the work done,’ you may need to ask why you are checking your emails,” says Kathy Colaiacovo, owner of Time on Task Virtual Assistant Services.
To help you save time on administrative tasks, Amy suggests using “Google Drive, Freshbooks to track my time, Skype to keep in touch with clients, CamScanner to scan and email documents, Asana for tasks, Hootsuite for all of my Twitter work, Dropbox to share larger files, and iCal to keep track of appointments.”