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Do You Have a Smartphone Addiction

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee, CEO at Eagle
This article first appeared on the Eagle Blog on December 16th, 2014 Some days it seems like the whole world is addicted to their smartphones!
  • You can't walk one city block without encountering someone, and more often many people, trying to text and walk, usually badly.
  • John Di Lemme QuoteDespite mass awareness, legislative change and police clamp downs you cannot commute home without passing people with their phones in their hand.
  • Go to any busy restaurant and you will see a number of people on their devices and even more people with their devices sitting just waiting to be picked up at the hint of an email, text or call!
  • Go to the average work meeting and ask people to switch off their mobile phones and you will be met with awe and dismay. Too often you will spot meeting "participants" on their device, responding to "important" emails or more likely texting another meeting "participant" instead of engaging in the meeting.
Not only can a smartphone addiction lead to serious health concerns, it can also affect our relationships and, more relevant to this blog, hurt our professional dealings and actually be detrimental to our productivity (the opposite of what they're intended to do). If you can see yourself in any of the above scenarios, or would just like to improve in this area, here are a few simple tips to start thinking about today:
  • Schedule time to check email as it fits in with our work and avoid checking your phone on every notification. In fact, turn off notifications all together!
  • Keep in contact with friends and family, but periodically at lunch or maybe during an afternoon break. Again, turn off your ringer except for during those chosen periods (many smartphones have the capability to schedule when the ringer should be on or off).
  • Choose a specific time of day to check in on the news. Very rarely are news updates and sports scores so important that they can't wait. And when they are, you'll know, regardless of whether or not you have your phone.
  • Put your phone away in meetings (or don't even bring it) so you can provide constructive input to the meeting and address anything else after the meeting.
  • Employ hands free technology in your car to talk while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands guiding the vehicle. If writing a text is really important, perhaps you should call with your hands free device instead.
In summary: drive your day to be as productive as possible. Use the smartphone as a tool as opposed to something you let interrupt your life, impact productivity, and hurt relationships. Do you have any more tips? What about pet peeves of other smartphone addicts who drive you crazy? We'd love to hear it!