10 ways to turn your mobile into a time saver at work 

I don’t know about you, but I have been guilty of wasting too much time on my mobile.

In fact, when I checked the stats, I was shocked by just how much time was spent staring at my screen, and how many times I picked up my phone, every day.

If you can relate, this list of 10 ways to turn your mobile into a time saver will help.

Turn off most notifications 

A phone that is going off like a Christmas tree is a distraction! As more notifications roll in, your mobile is like a siren calling you from whatever it is you’re trying to do. The solution is to turn off notifications from social media, news sites, retailers and – importantly – email. 

Delete apps that you don’t need

An app that you no longer need is just taking up valuable space and making it more difficult for you to find the apps that you rely on regularly. To use the Marie Kondo method, if an app is no longer sparking joy in your life, delete it! 

Download apps that you do need to use a lot of 

Use apps that will save you time when compared with using the browser. A couple of examples are e-commerce stores, CRMs and any industry websites that have a mobile-optimised app. The apps often reflect your preferences and priorities, saving you time every time.

Set limits for “time suck” apps

Where do you find yourself mindless scrolling? For me, it was Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. So, I used my phone settings to create limits for these apps. Once I hit the daily limit, I’m locked out. I can override the limit if I want, but this friction makes it less likely I will waste more time on them.

Keep your phone out of sight in meetings 

When your phone is in your line of sight, even if it’s turned upside down, it remains a source of distraction. To increase your focus, and practise good manners, place your phone out of sight and out of mind during meetings. This strategy also works when you want to do ‘deep work’.

Use the focus profile when you need to concentrate 

Speaking of ‘deep work’, if you have an important task to complete, get it done faster by entering the flow state. Set up do-not-disturb or focus profiles to stay on for a certain time – or just turn your phone off and set an alarm for when it’s time to move on to something else.

Ask Siri questions like: “What’s the date 90 days from now?” 

Can you tell me the date 30 days from now? OK, what about 90 days? There’s a bit more thought involved! Avoid human error when determining settlement dates and make life easier by simply asking Siri for the answer – she’ll tell you in seconds! 

Use dictation to draft emails and texts (and get inbound ones read aloud to you)

The more that you talk to your phone, the better it will be able to understand you and the easier it will become for you to give it voice commands, like dictating messages and having your phone read texts aloud when you’re driving.

Listen to podcasts and audio books that help you learn and grow 

Brian Tracey talked about turning his car into a university on wheels using books on tape. Nowadays, you can listen to audiobooks and podcasts wherever you are. These options will contribute more to your future success than listening to Kyle and Jackie O every morning!

Create keyboard shortcuts for common email and text responses 

Use “hotkeys” or keyboard shortcuts to store canned responses that you send a lot. This saves time typing out the same message repeatedly.

You probably already have this function for when you’re in a meeting or on the phone (i.e. to SMS the person when declining their call). This is the same idea, but for more situations – and it works on any app (including email and text). 

To make your smartphone a time saver, rather than a time suck, adopt one or more of the ideas in this list. The more time you invest implementing these ideas, the more time you’ll save in the future!

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Darren Krakowiak

Darren Krakowiak is the Founder of CRE Success. He helps commercial real estate leaders to get their businesses growing faster and is the host of Commercial Real Estate Leadership, available as a podcast and on YouTube.