Eliminate “Time Thieves” by taking control of your phone. Remember, less is more!

In Part 1 of our “Create Time” step towards achieving your business end game, we commenced a series of time creation exercises.

These exercises are designed to provide you the additional available time to start working on (read investing in) the things you must in order to take your business to the next level (your four ultimate alternative assets).  They will also help start freeing up your time in order to begin the process of creating the additional available personal energy, and hopefully also the creative impetus, required to unlock the answers to your business success roadblocks.

Time Creation Exercises

The purpose of these exercises is to eliminate Time Thieves and –

  • One – Get you started, get you moving in the right direction, even if just in a small way,
  • Two – Focus on the low hanging fruit (the easiest to reach) when it comes to actions you can implement that will start to make a difference straight away,
  • Three – Focus on the quick action steps that have the highest payoff, the biggest return on investment for the least amount of work.

So the action steps below are not an exhaustive list, and they do not go into such great detail so as to require vast amounts of time and energy to achieve them.  But they will all get you moving in the right direction, are easy to achieve and provide serious bang for your buck! Just don’t over think things, the key is to get some things done, not to get ‘everything’ done.

We break Time Thieves into to two broad categories, Universal Time Thieves and Personal Time Thieves.

Within each, for these exercises, we cover three sections as follows –

Universal Time Thieves

  • Emails
  • Your Phone
  • Your Business’ Accounting

Personal Time Thieves

  • Your Day
  • Your Week
  • Your Month

So today, we move onto eliminating Time Thieves associated with the second section of the Universal category…

Universal Time Thief 2 – Your Phone

If your email is not your biggest time vampire in your day, your Phone will clearly hold that title.

Therefore every little thing you can do to reduce how much of your time and energy and attention that your phone takes, will provide a massive return on investment.

Time Creator Action 1 – Delete Your Work Email from Your Phone

“What?” I hear you say.  But this is an absolute must for two reasons.  One, if you are truly going to stick to the Time Creator Action items you implemented per the previous post (How to Achieve Your Business End Game – Step 2 “Create Time” (Part 1)), you must eliminate the potential to regress by checking your emails on your phone.  Two, if you have truly implemented those Time Creator Actions, then ideally there will be no need for you to ‘check’ your emails on your phone.  Your emails will be able to wait, until you are next, ideally, at work, or at the very least, next in front of a computer dedicating real time to real productive email management.

Time Creator Action 2 – Set Any Remaining Email on Your Phone to Manual Fetch (Never Push)

Next ensure that any remaining email on your phone (ideally it will just be a private account used for personal matters only, no work but for emergencies) is set to only ever download new emails when you manually activate it to fetch them.  Emails should never instantly show up on your phone whenever you receive a new message.  Even allowing your phone to Fetch new emails at set schedules is a recipe for interruptions, distractions and time wasted.

(And if for some reason you are sure you can’t implement Time Creator Action 1 above, then you must at the very least implement Time Creator Action 2!  Though please don’t consider this permission to ignore Action 1, do your very best to find good reasons to follow it, avoid reasons to ignore it like your life depended on it, because you know in some respects, it does!)

Time Creator Action 3 – Delete Facebook and LinkedIn from Your Phone

If you use Social Media for business purposes, which we believe you must do, only retain the Facebook Pages app on your phone.  We recommend deleting the actual Facebook app as well as the LinkedIn app.  Obviously this is a step towards reducing the amount of time you invest in social media, and many will find this difficult.  But you must if you are to reduce the time wasted being busy, but not actually achieving anything.  Removing the apps from your phone is a big step in the right direction.  Of course you will keep your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, just limit your attention on them to only when you allocate specific time for the purpose and therefore when you are on a computer for that purpose.

We would recommend removing Instagram as well, but obviously Instagram is all about mobile so you can’t really use it, or contribute to it, exclusively via a desktop.

Time Creator Action 4 – For Any Remaining Email and Social Media on Your Phone, Turn Off All Notifications (even the little red dot telling you there is something new)

Make the decision that your phone no longer decides when you will be alerted (read interrupted) by others and by goings on in the world.  Instead, from now on you will decide when, and even if, you are going to allow your highly valuable time and energy and focus to be consumed.

Time Creator Action 5 – Start Learning to Put Your Phone on Silent, and Hide It Away

You can start small, but ideally you should be able to quickly get to the point where you have two periods a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, where your phone is on silent, and put away, and you are both unreachable (a big ask for many) but even more valuable, unable to be distracted by your phone and all the possibilities it has to offer.

Time Creator Action 6 – Enable Automatic “Do Not Disturb” Every Night

The last thing you should be is available for work calls, or even texts, at night when you should be zoning out getting ready for the perfect night’s sleep, or at least reading, expanding your knowledge and skills.

It is a given, based on all the Action items to date, that this includes no checking emails on your phone late at night, and certainly not just before bed.

BONUS Time Creator Action – Leave the Apple Watch, or Equivalent, for Exercise Only

For many this is not a big deal, there are a lot of people who were sufficiently aware of the damage the distractions their phones created that they didn’t need to have even more beeping and buzzing going on.  But if you took the plunge (as I very temporarily did myself) I recommend leaving the Apple Watch (or equivalent) for periods of exercise and when you are out and about for pleasure purposes only.  There are enough distractions in this world holding you back from achieving your best when it comes to business and ‘work’.  Another one, always in your line of sight at the end of your arm, always looking to alert you of the next distraction, doesn’t need to be one of them.

In case you missed it, revisit Step 1 and Step 2 (Part 1) –