I have an entire framework for time management that works well for myself and my 1:1 coaching clients. But since we’re in the middle of Q4, I wanted to share just my number one tip so you can be more efficient this holiday season.
If you run a good portion of your business off your phone as I do, then you know firsthand that notifications can consume your entire day.
Smartphones are designed to keep your attention—have you watched the documentary “The Social Dilemma?” It shows the scary truth about our smartphones and how they were designed. Smartphones have become bad habits for most of us, but it’s time to break that habit!
Why You Need to Get Unaddicted to Your Phone
Work Less, Profit More is the tagline for the Savvy Shopkeeper brand. To work less, one of the things shopkeepers have to work on is being efficient. When your phone is always chiming with notifications, you’re opening each app to see what the notifications are about. That’s a huge time suck.
Some notifications are essential for your business, of course—don’t ignore those! But you can set up a system, so your phone isn’t such a distraction.
Last year, I read the book “The Joy of Missing Out” by Tonya Dalton. Tonya talked about turning off email notifications on our phones, and this is where my phone cleansing journey started. Once I saw how effective THAT was, I decided to dig in deeper over the past year. I had no idea how many settings in my phone COULD help me get unaddicted. I simply had to take a few minutes to set it all up.
Six Tips To Help You Get Unaddicted
1. Turn Off Notifications
I identified what apps on my phone were not a priority, and I turned off notifications. Turning off my email and social media notifications changed my phone use!
Yes, I’m serious: turn off your email and social media notifications! As a retailer, you might think these notifications are a must. But they aren’t.
Instead, set aside two or three times throughout the day when you will check these. This is dedicated time, preferably with a time limit to handle any questions, requests to purchase, customer service issues, or whatever might be involved.
Rather than constantly checking your phone and wasting precious time, the point is to choose to block off times in your day to handle these sorts of tasks.
2. Use Airplane Mode
I recently asked a question in the Shopkeepers Lab about mindset, and I was blown away by the number of responses that had to do with distractions, poor attention skills, or time management.
I highly recommend blocking your calendar to work on a specific task during a specific time. One of the most valuable things you can do in addition to this is to have uninterrupted time.
For example, our 2021 planning session in Master Shopkeepers is on November 30th. I made sure to remind members to add the date and time to their calendars, and just as importantly, I told them to do what they needed to do so they could be alone and focused during this 1.5-hour session. This might mean hiring a babysitter, having employees cover the store while you’re alone in your office, leaving the store and going home, or going to a local coffee shop.
So if you want to level up on interrupted time, TURN ON AIRPLANE MODE. When activated, this mode suspends the device’s signal transmission, effectively disabling all voice, text, and phone services. Does the thought of doing this make you sweat? Then you have a phone addiction.
3. Check Your Screen Time Stats in Your Phone’s Settings
I bet that many of you will be blown away like I was when you check your screen time usage. There was a time when I looked at my screen time stats and saw I was on my phone 10+ hours each day. SERIOUSLY! Even scarier, I was on Facebook for 30+ hours in one week!
At the time, I was running social media for my two businesses (with two Facebook pages and two Facebook groups), a 5-mile race event I volunteer for, AND my husband’s political campaign. I’m exhausted just thinking about this social-media-heavy season.
When you look at these stats, you’ll see which apps on your phone are sucking the life out of you. Literally.
4. Set Downtime
If you have an iPhone, you can do this within the Screentime menu in settings. I set my downtime from 10 PM to 6 AM. Aside from my phone (as in making calls) and text messages, I can’t use any other apps on my phone during this time. It greys every app out. It’s easy to override, but seeing the apps all greyed out reminds me not to indulge.
5. Set App Limits
This is also controlled via the Screentime menu on your iPhone’s settings.
I set a one hour limit for Facebook, instead of what had turned into a daily 4-5 hour habit. I still go over that one hour sometimes, and that’s okay! I choose the setting that allows me to use the app for the rest of the day without limitations if need be.
Overall, setting an app limit has genuinely helped. It forces me to be super productive and efficient while I am on the app, and it keeps me from the rabbit hole of scrolling. NO time for that!
6. Set Communication Limits for Specific Contacts
If you want to take it even further, you can even set communications limits with contacts on your phone. Is your mind blown right now? Mine was! I personally haven’t chosen to add limitations here. Phone calls and texting are not what’s consuming my time, but it is different for everyone.
Be Strategic With Your Time
When people ask how I run two businesses, a household with a family, AND still find time to get out, exercise, have a life…being strategic with my time is the answer.
Is it perfect? Nope, it sure isn’t. There are seasons in life, unexpected situations, tweaking, and adjusting. Plus, I’m continually learning new and better ways to help me do it all, but to me, progress is better than perfection.
Have another tip that could help your fellow shopkeepers? DM me on Instagram (@savvyshopkeeper), and I’ll share on my Instagram stories!
- Shopkeeper Shoutout: Trez of Elements of Home/Studio in Ohio
- How to Set Screentime & Downtime Limits on an iPhone
- How to Check Your Digital Wellbeing Settings for Android Users
- [01:48] Shopkeeper Shoutout
- [03:51] Why you need to get unaddicted to your phone
- [05:35] Turn off notifications
- [07:06] Use airplane mode
- [11:36] Check your screen time stats in your phone’s settings
- [13:09] Set downtime
- [14:46] Set app limits
- [15:33] Set communication limits for specific contacts
- [16:18] Be strategic with your time