Whenever it is our time to stop and recharge, many of us fall under the habit of spending time on our phones. It is an easy gateway with a disruptive effect on your productivity. Today we will show you a few ways to both recharge during your lunch break and also how to use your phone as a productivity tool.
Let' s start with some background about the effect your phone has on you. Eilish Duke, a doctor in psychology from the university of Huddersfield in England, has studied how smartphones impact productivity. According to a piece on Psychology Today, her results “ indicate smartphone addiction and actively checking the phone have a tendency to decrease productivity both at work and at home.” NYC-based psychotherapist Jordana Jacobs told Business Insider that "Productivity is often at its apex during a flow state," meaning that the distraction caused by phones are "consistently interrupting our own thought process". A recent survey by CareerBuilder found 55% of employers blame mobile phones for decreased productivity. More than 80% of workers said they keep their smartphones within eye contact at work, and 66% say they use their phones several times throughout the workday. It is only natural to want to escape to something familiar to connect with the world. Read below for some of the best alternatives.
Before we start with this one, a quick bit of info on the word “mindfulness”. It has been described by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as "mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique". According to Dan Harris, author of “10 Percent Happier” practicing meditation at work is attention training that will help you to perform better and reach a state of mindfulness. Meditating during your break will help you decrease your stress, analyze situations better, and see problems with a new eye. For more information regarding mindfulness, click here.
Take a Walk
“Take a walk. You will feel better.“ There is a lot of truth behind that common expression. According to the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, people who walked at lunchtime three times a week felt better, even after walking for just 30 minutes. They reported feeling less tense, more enthusiastic, and more relaxed, and even felt they could better cope with their workload. Jack Crockford, a senior health and fitness expert for American Council on Exercise explains that by “breaking up the day with a walk outdoors, the brain is allowed a rest from the cognitive process required during the work day.” Sightseeing or simply stepping away from your desk will help you decompress and revitalize your mind.
Connect with other people
Feeling connected to others was already a concern before COVID- 19,and it has become a major issue for the past year. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, Millennials, who make up the largest segment of the workforce, are the loneliest generation. At work, 66 percent of Millennials found it hard to make friends, compared to less than 23 percent of Baby Boomers, according to a 2018 survey from U.K.-based Milkround, a student and graduate career resources company. So why not use the opportunity to connect with others and build relationships? According to Gallup researches, there is a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job. For example, women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%). So, try to get out of your comfort zone and engage with the people around. You might find it helpful!
We talked a lot about alternatives to spending time on your phone, but it would be unfair to disregard all of the benefits your phone can bring you at work. Please check below for a few tips on your phone can make you more productive.
"Ok, it is 10:30. I am setting up an alarm. by 10:55 I will be done with this task." Setting up an alarm on your phone can give you the structure you need using the Pomodoro technique. If you are not familiar with the term, this technique was invented in the 1990s by an Italian software engineer using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. It means that you give yourself a task, or a series of tasks, and need to get them done in 25 minutes. By the end of this time frame, you take a break. Once you have done this four times you take a longer break. By setting up a short deadline, you will accomplish more than you expect.
Do not disturb
Between phone calls, emails, voicemails, memos, social media notifications, and Amazon delivery updates, our concentration is constantly challenged. It can sometimes take a few minutes to go back to our task and also to the level of concentration that is required. By using the Do not disturb feature on your phone, you will be able to give your work the focus it needs.
Nowadays, if you are short of a notebook your phone is a good substitute with a few productive features. With the voice to text option, with the ability to highlight and to erase your text or to even share it, your phone is the perfect tool to help you navigate different meetings and projects.
The work place can be noisy from time to time. You can eliminate all the louds distractions by turning on white noise. A 2014 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience found playing white noise helps memory and improves learning in distracting environments, which is why it may be effective in heightening productivity.
Changing your habits can be difficult. It requires effort to recognize that some of the things we do daily can have some terrible long term effects on you and your work. If you feel like you are suffering from burnout, or if you want to learn the best practices to recover from it, check our article below on the subject.