If I had to think about the thing I like most about phones, it would probably have to be the fact that they’re so versatile and convenient. There are so many things that I can do with my phone that, once upon a time, were not so easy to do on a whim. At my fingertips I have a calculator, a radio/music player, unlimited movies, games, any recipe I could ever hope to make, Microsoft Office, the entire Internet, social media networks galore, and so much more. When I stop to think about how phones have evolved from the time I had my first cell phone to now, it’s actually quite mind-blowing.
But while my phone is, in a way, one of my most trusted companions, it’s also one of the biggest distractions I have in my life. The ability to do so many things at a moment’s notice means that it has practically become second nature to think of something I need to do on my phone, get my phone out to do it, and then continually think of other things I need/want to check “since I’m already there”. Next thing I know, 30 minutes to an hour have passed and I’ve wasted a lot of time.
It’s a mixture of bad habit and lack of self-discipline on my part. I’ve been glued to my phone since I’ve had my very first cell phone, and even more so when I became ensnared in the magical world of Android with my first modern smartphone experience. The amount of things that one can do on a smartphone has only increased from there, and today I have no problems getting distracted reading Facebook, Reddit, doing some online shopping, checking up on the news, watching YouTube, checking the weather… there are a lot of things. One simple task that could take a few minutes at most can easily turn into hours of “checking stuff” if I really wanted to.
On the flip side my phone can also increase productivity. It’s nice that I’m able to quickly pull information up on my phone and take notes at the same time no matter where I’m at. Catching an important e-mail is no problem, and performing data entry duties on the go is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Sharing information with co-workers and participating in group meetings are as easy as they ever were, and I can do them from anywhere as well. The sheer mobility that my smartphone can grant me to do my work is an amazing thing, especially as a busy parent who always finds herself at some appointment or school activity.
But even with all of the productivity that my smartphone manages to grant me, I still have a big problem getting distracted during the day. Although there are apps on the market (Procraster on iOS, Stop Procrastination on Android, Windows Phone) that are supposed to help alleviate the problem, using my smartphone to manage my procrastination that stems from smartphone usage seems a little… risky. Once I start ignoring my phone and get down to the nitty-gritty, I don’t have any issues; I just have to learn some self-discipline and realize that I’m wasting valuable time on my smartphone doing things that can easily be done once all of my work is complete.
Readers, are you easily distracted with smartphone usage? Or are you fairly self-disciplined when it comes to turning off the phone when work needs to get done? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!