June 16

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Use your phone last and then put it away!

By Ralph Varcoe

June 16, 2020

productivity hacks

3.5   Check Your Phone Last

Productivity hack no.34 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


It’s so tempting to roll over, groggy eyed and reach for the phone as soon as you wake. So many people now use their phone as an alarm clock that it’s almost inevitable it becomes the first thing that’s touched in the morning.

I read somewhere that iPhones (and presumably other smart phones) are used more for telling the time than anything else. Who knows if that’s just benign fake news or it’s true but it wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t wear a watch and tap the screen to find out what the time is.

It’s quite hard to avoid your phone first thing in the morning. The news, Facebook, and emails are all waiting for you, calling for you to look at them (they are so needy!).

My tip for avoiding distractions and improving your productivity so that you accelerate towards your north star is to check your phone last, after you’ve done other more important things.

Get up, exercise, shower, eat something, do the first couple of tasks you set out the night before. Then you can check your phone. It’ll still be there and by the time you’ve seen that the politicians are still arguing, or Jo’s cat brought up a mammoth fur ball at 11.27 last night you will have broken the back of other really important tasks.

In the first hour of the day do not check your phone. Get on with something useful. You can even make checking your phone a reward for having achieved something marvellous (see section 5.4).

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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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