We live in a time where there is a digital tool or app for almost everything. With technology, you can grow your social media following, manage virtual workers, send timely responses to emails, monitor advertising, and much, much more. You might spend a lot of time on these apps because they seem effective and make you feel productive, which we all know is an entrepreneur’s priority.
In reality, all of these tools can be a huge distraction from the important things like product improvement and customer service. We deal with a constant assault from the hundreds of things we feel we need to stay on top of and we end up doing none of the important things as well as we should. We’re repeatedly distracted by our phones and web pages that simply won’t help us get where we need to go.
In order to grow your business, you really need to take your time back and get control over your technology instead of letting it control you. Here’s a technology detox plan Team Eazl put together to help you reclaim your bandwidth:
- Turn all email accounts off on your cell phone and your mail app on your laptop
I would say that, if you are checking your email more than once a day –or even more than a couple of times a week– you’re wasting a lot of time. How often do you open up the email app on your phone or get distracted by email notifications on your desktop?
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) may have a hold on you. Unless you are actively networking and expecting to have tons of correspondence coming in, there is no reason to be a repetitive email checker.
That barrier of having to go into settings and turn your accounts back on will keep you from checking when you don’t need to check.
If it makes sense for your business, pick one day per week to respond to emails and send emails.
You can even set up an automatic email responder that kindly notifies people who email you that you are busy building a great product or taking care of your customers and clients.
- Turn off all app notifications
Go to your settings -> scroll to the bottom where your downloaded apps are listed -> go through each app and deactivate notifications for each app.
You literally don’t need any notifications for any of the apps you use. And they do more damage to your productivity than you might think.
- Remove social media apps from your phone
Hear me out on this one. You might think that quick mobile access to your social media accounts is important for the growth of your business, but nothing is ever urgent enough to disrupt you multiple times during your work day. Or during dinner with family or friends. Here’s what I would recommend:
- Remove the Facebook app completely. If you really want to be able to access your business pages, download the Facebook Pages app instead and turn off the notifications in your phone settings.
- Keep Instagram because it’s mobile only, but turn off the notifications for this one too.
- Keep the Twitter app because it’s actually more convenient to use in the mobile app. Turn off notifications.
- In place of your social apps, download the Buffer app so you can still schedule from your phone if your are doing something productive like catching up on industry news.
- Take a second look at what social media channels are actually a fit for your business. What’s working? What isn’t? Skim down wherever possible by closing down those excess accounts.
- Prioritize app placement on your phone
Think about the things that you need to spend more time doing -or would like to spend time doing- on the first “screen” of your phone. This really does have a psychological effect.
My “home screen” includes: Evernote, Feedly, Buffer, and my Podcasts app. All of these apps help my business in someway, whether it’s organization, research, or a source of inspiration in my workday.
- Create a “not using” folder on your phone
For those apps you want to have handy, but don’t use that often, combine in a folder on the last screen of your phone to reduce clutter.
- Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe
Opt-out from literally every list that you no longer enjoy being on. Eliminate the emails that are straight up sales and no real value. Think of other ways to stay connected to the business and people you like. You’ll save time and money.
It might seem like a big change, but experiment with the above and see how much more real work you actually get done!
Do you have any productivity hacks for technology? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.