By Michael Dettbarn, Co-Founder, ( OFFTIME )
With Apps World Germany only 4 weeks ahead, it might make sense to remind ourselves that there’s a life without apps and smartphones, too. In fact many health professionals and productivity gurus recommend times where you disconnect. This is why we promote a “Mobile Free Monday” and “focus hours” during the day among team members and our community. To get the most out of these dedicated “Offtimes” and avoid major headaches, we recommend five basic principles.
Being without your device basically let’s you apply 95% of all productivity tips in one go and working without your device for a full day means supporting your productivity and well-being alike. Yet, a weekly day off means a real challenge for many of us. So at best, start it as an experiment: Can you still manage some hours without your phone? How does it feel?
If you’re up for that challenge, here’s some advice on how to avoid getting into trouble and to improve your productivity:
All the productivity tips over the web have one thing in common that they recommend and that successful people do: focus. Focus on one thing at a time and get rid of all distractions.
When you feel like doing something else: embrace the feeling coming up. And also listen to yourself: why did you want to stop doing what you do? How is your breathing? Where is your mind going? There will be many impulses which you can’t and shouldn’t immediately follow up upon – looking up this thing on Wikipedia, checking your Facebook status, answering this email or following this superb idea.
#2 Make notes and get back to work
In case you wonder with your mind to other things, just make sure they aren’t lost. Get yourself a notebook (a piece of paper will do, too) to write them down for later and get back to work. In the evening go through the list and take necessary actions.
#3 Organise your day the day before
Go through the day before it has begun: What’s coming up? What do you want/need to get done? For our ‘Mobile free Monday’, you should ideally do this on Fridays. It’s then also an opportunity to finish your week and plan the next. To fix meetings, send out your requests now or call your contacts right away. This way you get a head start into the next week: get straight into working mode, get your things done quickly and have important meetings already on Tuesday.
#4 Limit your availability
Join the productivity crowd: Tim Ferriss advocates in his ‘4-hour work week to ’be available only to certain times via phone and put the times into your signature and and on your voicemail.’ Setting up an auto-reply for your emails, you could even limit your availability to something like 2 x 2 hours per week. This can work great to maximize your effectiveness. Just take into account that people will take you up on this.
#5 Use ( OFFTIME )
Of course, our last and final advice is to use apps like ( OFFTIME ). It not only allows you to block you out from your phone for some time – so you don’t procrastinate -, but it can also filter your callers and can give certain callers a little status update, telling them when you’re gonna be available again (“Sorry, Max is currently in a meeting. Please try to call again after 4 pm.”).
We’re looking forward to Apps World 2015 in Berlin: You and other amazing developers and entrepreneurs will present ideas for great apps and solutions. It’s gonna be an opportunity to reconnect in the offline-world – because that’s nothing that an app like Meerkat or any other can replace. Until then: Stay focused and enjoy your Offtimes! We hope to see you soon.
About ( OFFTIME )
Michael is the Co-Founder and Designer of ( OFFTIME ). ( OFFTIME ) provides services that enable users to unplug easily, to focus and to find an enriching work-life-tech-balance by customizing their connectivity – supercharged by science. The app-based solution filters communication, blocks app access and creates awareness for mobile usage behavior. ( OFFTIME ) for Android was downloaded more than 300.000 times in less than 3 months and was voted by Google as one of the best apps in 2014.