13 Ways Your Phone Can Make You More Productive

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Have you ever felt like your phone makes you look like a liability that you hardly have time for anything else. A single notification from an app to check a piece of information for a split second will end up in hours and hours of checking and liking pictures of friends you have never probably met before.

Sometimes the distraction is so severe that we do several things at a time with our phone, we play music while on social media at the same time we are downloading the latest song from our favourite artist while trying to update to the latest version of Xender…….and so on.

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It’s time to fix this problem once and for all. Here are 13 ways your phone can make you productive.

1). Call someone and ask a question.
You might have 5–10 minutes. Think of a friend. Think of one question. Call them and say, “Hey, I only have a few minutes but I was thinking about you and I was curious about how you … etc.” Don’t feel bad talking for only a few minutes or cutting off the conversation. I’m sure they’ll be happier that you actually called than if you didn’t call whatsoever or had to go.

Who said you have to catch up for at least an hour every time you call?

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2). Make a plan for later
This is big for relationships. Entrepreneurs tend to be bad at balancing relationships with work. So instead of tapping Twitter for a few minutes, think about what you’d make your wife for dinner, or pick out a movie, or put a potential weekend trip on the calendar. The point is relationships take creative thought, too.

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3).invest in something profitable.
I use Robinhood, a fee-free stock trading app, and I try to keep some cash in there to invest. Instead of social media, I’ll open it up, check performances, and buy another stock or twenty. I’m not an investment professional, I’m not offering any financial advice, and I’m not asking you to. But this is what I might do instead of putting Instagram stories on auto-play.

4). Listen to a bit of podcast
Podcasts are like eavesdropping on two smart people having a really good conversation. They’re great for learning and self-augmentation. After a LinkedIn binge, I feel frazzled. But after a few minutes of a good podcast, I feel inspired and motivated.

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5). Write down a note or an idea

As you can see above, I keep Apple Notes and Reminders in my quick access bar. Whenever I get an idea for a post, I thumb it into a note so that later, when I sit down to write and I need an idea, I can search “idea” in Notes, and VWAHLAH I have something to write.

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Coming up with an idea for later use is more productive than an aimless wander down a Facebook wall.

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6). Ask a question.
Social apps on phones have led to the underdevelopment of the ability to strike up a conversation with a person we don’t know. It’s strange. We’re immediately suspicious if someone speaks to us out of the blue.

Why? What if you asked a simple question (e.g., what are you working on? what’s the best thing to get here? what’s your dog’s name?) and made a new friend? You never know where it might lead.

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7). Learn new words and actually use them.
Dictionary.com’s app is the only app I pay for on my phone. I like to learn the word of the day and use it immediately, either in a text, comment, note, or aloud to myself. The key to remember vocab words is to create as many neural connections to the word as possible.

If you have a minute, you could open Instagram and see a photo, or you could learn the definition of a cool word. A deeper vocabulary will make you a deeper person. An Instagram photo will mean nothing tomorrow.

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8). Do some push ups or stretches
Pump fresh oxygen into your brain. Accelerate your heart rate. Get off your duff and get down on the ground. Studies show there’s a correlation between physical exercise and mental acuity, cognition. This one is for the multi-tasking show watcher.

Sometimes I watch something and scroll social media. A better multi-tasking alternative is to watch something and do crunches.

9). Read one of your bookmarked articles
There’s a difference between mindlessly scrolling, which is passive and uncontrolled, and reading a bookmarked article, which is active and intentional. If you want to read something, use Medium’s great bookmarking tools and learn on the go. Don’t leave learning up to chance.

10). Unsubscribe from emails
Protect your time and proactively drop the guillotine on annoying repetitive emails. I’ve found this to be a small self-esteem builder. I feel like I’ve done something good when I axe a subscription I never typically open.

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11). Play some chess
It might be equally pointless and phubbing to the people around me, but I play chess against a computer on my phone if I have 7–10 minutes. Chess builds your problem-solving abilities and strategic thinking, unlike tapping a like button on Instagram.

12). Meditate and pray
Whatever your spiritual disposition may be, I’ve found social media is often a cover up to deal with deeper issues inside. I don’t have to think while checking Facebook. But taking a small break to be thankful, see the big picture, and reflect on truth can be a refreshing healthy perspective.

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13). Smile to improve your mood.
At the risk of looking like a psycho-freak in public, it’s scientifically backed that forcing yourself to smile or laugh can actually trigger a chemical reaction in your brain and improve your mood. Don’t open Twitter. Look in a mirror. And fake-laugh.

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