Reevaluating the Relationship

It’s a truly splendid time to be alive – we’ve made it to the Jetson age. As a technology company, we know that technology has the transformative ability to advance and rejuvenate small businesses, especially with workforce management. I think one of the inherent promises of technology is to help us get more done in less time to free up space for the things we want to do. But let’s pause and examine our relationship with technology. Are we using it in a way that reaps the benefits of this promise? Is life easier in the year 2020 than when we began this new millennium 20 years ago?

Today I’d like to discuss the impact that technology has had on our lives with just one specific gadget – the smartphone.

High-Speed Awareness

Smartphones trigger our awareness of issues/information at a high-speed, concentrated rate which obligates us to heightened levels of responsiveness. This real-time accessibility is a tough challenge for service-based small business owners. For example, 20 years ago we didn’t have email on our phones. We caught up on emails when we returned to the office. Now everyone knows that everyone has email in his pocket and why aren’t you addressing my issue 32 seconds after I hit send?

We also get banged all day with texts and push notifications for breaking news, Facebook updates, weather alerts, task reminders, calendar events, and on and on it goes. All of these notifications interrupt us and often obligate us to respond. Instead of peace of mind, these rapidly firing interruptions are fragmenting our minds into pieces.

5 Ways To Be More Productive With Our Smartphones

#1: Limit intraday email intake

Instead of checking every email as it pops into our inboxes, turn off notifications. Don’t even let emails hit the lock screen. Set up an autoresponse to let every person know that she is very important, but to provide the best service for everyone we check our emails first thing in the mornings, at lunch, and at the end of the day and we will reply then. Three times a day is still too much, but it’s better than our current habit. Go ahead and unsubscribe to all of the mind-numbing junk, too. An advanced hack is to use autoresponses in text messages.


#2: Establish a gatekeeper mentality

We must protect our greatest asset -time. Disable all nonessential notifications. Only allow the most important alerts through to capture our attention – like no-show alerts when remote employees don’t clock into scheduled jobs.  Are the breaking news alerts about your favorite sports teams really critical? A smart time to “like” and respond to all Facebook and Google reviews is while catching up on the evening news, not throughout the day.

dog at gate acting as gatekeeper


#3: Lockdown cell numbers

Those 10 little digits are immensely valuable. We need to safeguard our phone numbers like we do our children or favorite pets. Our numbers are an open invitation for infinite intrusions upon our days (and nights) and if not zealously guarded can be the source of utmost annoyance. Our business phones can handle business matters. Today’s sophisticated phone systems can be configured to push urgent messages to us out in the field (but politely inform customers to use that option with discretion).


#4: Let it go

Rethink answering the cell phone when it does ring. Unless of course, it’s our significant others. The caller chose a time to call that was convenient for him. It may not be for us. Send calls to voicemail and we can check them at the same time we check emails. And any caller IDs that are junk, block them to prevent those calls from squandering our attention in the future.


#5: Push pause

When we’re engaged in deep work (or a much-needed nap), we shouldn’t fear the Do Not Disturb setting on our phones. Most everything can wait a little while. The sky won’t fall.


do not disturb doorknob hanger


Using Tech Wisely

Technology isn’t the enemy, but it needs a leash to keep its anxiety-ridden side effects at bay. Used wisely, smartphones can be our allies, especially for small business owners who use our Supervisor App. The Supervisor App provides real-time visibility to monitor remote employees and ensure that jobs are covered. Chronotek’s time-tracking and workforce management tools help with your daily workflow and truly pieces together the peace of mind that’s been shattered. See what can happen in 30 days. We’ll let you try for free.

Now go into your phone settings and make some changes.

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