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  • Writer's pictureBePresent

3 phone hacks that actually help you stay productive at work

If you’re like the average American adult, you’re probably spending about four hours on your phone every day. And in a work setting, you probably get an average of 237 notifications across different platforms like Instagram, email and Slack, Amy Blankson, cofounder of the Digital Wellness Institute says. 

All this fragmented attention interrupts our productivity and creativity, and it could be costing the U.S. GDP trillions of dollars. 

Fully restricting access to phones and social media likely won’t fix these problems in an office setting. Like strict nutritional diets, people usually fall back into old habits when solutions aren’t sustainable. Instead of elimination, moderation can be key to having a healthy relationship with your phone without needing to fully disconnect. 

Here’s three strategies for the workplace that will help you stay productive:

Establish digital boundaries

Putting usage parameters on your phone time can establish intentionality and counteract some of the unconscious tendencies we have. When workers hit roadblocks or challenges, they tend to unconsciously reach for their phones in search of something more interesting and fun. 

If this is you, try deleting social media apps that influence aimless scrolling — Instagram and TikTok just aren’t the same on a desktop computer. You can also try to make your phone less accessible, by keeping it in your desk or backpack, or turning it off during work hours. If you must have it, deactivate nonessential notifications to minimize distractions.

Reward yourself

A core tenet of habit formation is to make a habit as easy and rewarding as possible. You can harness the same principles that make smartphones so addictive — reward systems of likes and dopamine hits — to encourage more mindful tech usage. 

BePresent uses gamification to reduce screen time, allowing users to track progress and achieve milestones. This motivating experience, which rewards instead of restricts, has reduced our average users’ screen time by 15 hours per week. 

By celebrating milestones in your digital detox, you’ll create a rewarding experience that aligns with our natural desire for achievement and recognition. 

Cultivate offline interests

Studies have shown that people who replace screen time with meaningful offline activities are much more likely to stick to healthy technology use long term. At work, this can mean having lunch or coffee with colleagues instead of sitting alone at your desk scrolling. 

Our data shows that participants who engaged in offline activities reported a 30% increase in perceived productivity and a significant decrease in stress levels. This shift toward engaging in real-world activities reconnects us with the joys of living fully present and accomplishing goals that were being left behind because of too much wasted time on screens.


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