How Attached Are You To Your Mobile Phone?

I was talking to a group of business advisors this week about the importance of boundaries for time management. One of the topics that often gets discussed is the use of phones - they all had their phones out in front of them in the meeting room.

While technology is great for making our lives easier, the concept that we can now be contacted any time, any place and pretty much anywhere - adds to the number of things that can now distract us in our daily lives.

The level of attachment to their phones and the need to work on their boundaries, was shown when we went for a short walk in the countryside and as soon as they phones came into signal range they started ringing. Even worse they all answered them and then had lengthy conversations.

There's a time and a place for mobile phones and I don't think being out on a walk in the beautiful English countryside is one of them.  Handy in an emergency or if you use it for photos, so by all means carry one with you but at least have it on silent!

I know this might be radical but ...
  • You CAN switch your phone off - let voice mail take a message or if you're worried about losing potential business, use a call answering service.
  • Especially in meetings - respect the people in front of you and switch your phone to silent or switch it off altogether.  Give them your undivided attention.
  • If you're expecting an urgent or really important phone call, which is more important that the person you're with - let them know, so when it rings they won't feel you're being rude when you answer it.
  • You don't HAVE to answer the phone when it rings.  If you're in the middle of something - finish the task first and then phone the person back.  Most phones, especially mobiles will let you know who the missed call was from if they haven't left a message.
  • You CAN leave the phone behind - is it absolutely essential to take it with you on a short walk or when popping out to the shops?
  • Switch if off or ignore business calls outside of business hours - otherwise customers and clients really will think they can contact you any time of the night or day.
Take control of your time and decide when YOU are going to use your phone. Don't let it control you.
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