10 Best Genius iPhone Hacks to Boost Productivity: Smartphone Tips
Let’s face it—there’s a good chance you’re reading this on your phone right now. Smartphones, and iPhones in particular, have become a ubiquitous presence in our lives these days. It’s not hard to get people into a passionate debate about whether or not these devices help or hurt us. But the truth is, it’s not about the phones themselves. It’s about how we use them.
Some people believe that our phones are beginning to control us. There may be some truth to this, but the reality is, our phones can only do what we tell them to do.
It’s important to remember that your phone is merely a tool to help you accomplish the things you need to accomplish. Once you start to view your phone as a useful assistant, and not as an addiction, you can turn that unproductive phone time into a wellspring of productivity.
So, in the spirit of re-framing how you interact with your phone, here are 10 quick iPhone hacks that will help you adjust how and when you use your phone, so you maximize your productivity.
Schedule Everything, Even the Small Stuff
One of the most powerful ways you can use your phone is by having it remind you to do important tasks throughout the day. Some of these are obvious: meetings, important calls, payments due.
Beyond these types of tasks, you might think it’s silly to have your phone remind you when to eat, take a break, or other small things. But the reality is, if you schedule everything into your phone, the updates will help you keep a regular schedule.
And if you get sucked into the trap of staring at your phone for too long, the next reminder will help snap you out of it and get you back on track.
2. Think About Your Own Definition of “Productivity”
People each have a different version of “productive,” depending on what kind of work you do, what your daily schedule looks like, and other factors. It’s important to think about which tasks are actually crucial for you to accomplish during the day.
When the day ends and you look back, deciding if it was productive or not, some tasks will stand out more than others. The key is identifying what you really need to accomplish and modifying your daily habits (including your phone usage) to align with these goals.
3. Use Your Phone as a Notepad
It can be easy to have a great idea or a useful thought and then forget about it later if you’re not careful. But with your phone in your pocket, this never needs to happen.
If you think of something you need to do later, don’t let it drift into forgetfulness. Use the Notes or Reminders app in your phone (or simply send a text to yourself) with a quick rundown of what you need to do. When you see it later, you can make sure you don’t forget it.
4. Sync Your Phone to Your Computer
You might think it’s counterintuitive to curb your phone use by syncing your phone up to MORE devices. But in reality, this will help you manage the time you spend face-down in your phone.
By syncing your smartphone to your computer, you will get your alerts delivered right to your screen, without having to constantly check your phone. Sometimes the worst thing for productivity is reaching into your pocket to see if you have any notifications. It can be a slippery slope once the phone is in your hands, and you start checking other apps.
Keep your phone out of sight for longer by having your notifications synced to your computer instead.
5. Learn the Hidden Features
Sure, everyone by now knows that your iPhone comes complete with a calculator and a flashlight. But there are plenty of features on most smartphones that a casual user might not be familiar with.
For example, in the Accessibility section of the iPhone settings, you can change the zoom size, to make text bigger and easier to read. This may seem simple, but just making things easier to read on your phone can do wonders for your productivity.
Keep an eye out for features like this that can really improve your experience using your smartphone.
6. Keep Your Home Screen Clean
No, this isn’t about wiping off smudges, although you should do that too. This is about the management of your apps.
Just like a messy desk can slow productivity, having a phone screen cluttered with icons can make it difficult to keep track of everything. The last thing you want when you’re trying to be productive is to waste time scrolling through your phone’s home screen looking for the one app you need.
Ditch the needle-in-a-haystack routine by keeping a clean, orderly home screen with your apps arranged neatly.
7. Be Selective About Apps
This goes hand in hand with keeping a clean home screen. It can be tempting to download every app you come across, thinking you’ll use it regularly. But the reality is that most apps just collect dust, eating up your phone’s storage space and cluttering up your display. Minimalism can be a healthy thing.
8. Manage How You Check Your Texts and Emails
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to read every message in complete detail, at least not right when you receive it. Do a “selective scan” of your inbox from time to time. Identify which messages are time-sensitive, and respond to those as needed.
If a text or email isn’t immediately important, set it aside and circle back to knock a bunch of them out at once. It can feel overwhelming sometimes when you’re getting a new notification every two minutes. But by breaking it up and identifying what’s truly important in the moment will give you a bit of breathing room.
9. Only Do Phone-Friendly Tasks With Your Phone
Not all types of work are easy to accomplish on your phone. It might seem faster in the moment to type up an email on your phone, but in reality you can finish that same task much faster on a computer. Identify which tasks are better for your phone, and save the rest for when you’re at your desk.
10. Don’t Forget “Do Not Disturb” Mode
If you’re really feeling bombarded by your phone and you need to focus on one task for a few minutes, don’t be afraid to switch your phone to “do not disturb,” so you can work without interruption. Just make sure you check your phone from time to time, especially if you’re expecting an important message. That said, muting notifications can be a great way to focus on just one task.
The Natural Conclusion
Smartphones were meant to help our productivity, not hurt it. Sometimes it seems like they do more harm than good, but if you follow these ten steps, you can reclaim your productive hours.
The important thing is to be mindful of when, where, and how you are using your phone. If you do that, you’ll find your phone can help you be more productive than ever before.