June 15

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You don’t need to check your phone whilst you’re working

By Ralph Varcoe

June 15, 2020

productivity hacks

3.7   Once an Hour Only

Productivity hack no.36 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


How often do you check your phone? A survey of 2,000 Americans showed that on average people check their phones every 12 minutes, which is 5 times per hour. In a 16 hour day this equates to 80 times a day. That’s 80 distractions a day.

1 in 10 admitted to checking their phone every 4 minutes. That’s 240 times a waking day! Serious problem territory there.

How long do you think each phone check takes? A couple of seconds? Minutes? You can do the maths. It’s a lot of time on nothing much at all.

62% of respondents said they’d rather go without chocolate for a week than their phones. 60% reported occasional stress when the phone was off or out of reach. 31% feel regular anxiety when it’s not available. A staggering 40% said they’d rather lose their voice for a day than be without their phone for the same period.

This is a major addiction. One that is now well understood, with Apple and others making strides to help people use their devices less. I now get regular updates on how much screen time I’ve used each week (mostly used on Goole Maps I reckon…..how did we ever survive before Google Maps? I’d be lost without it! Haha!)

If you want to reclaim time for your projects and goals then implement a rule that says you will check your phone a maximum of once per hour. Fewer times than that is fine. But make it no more than once.

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Ralph Varcoe

About the author

For over 20 years, Ralph has run sales and marketing teams across large enterprises and smaller start-ups, at companies such as Orange, Tata Communications, Virgin Media, Spirit Ai and others. He brings a wealth of experience in personal and professional development with a laser focus on enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. He's a published author and musician with a passion for creating - be that change, the right solution, exciting campaigns, the right environment for customers to succeed, or podcasts, videos and written content.

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