Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Smartphone = Dumbphone?

Here are some facts to get you thinking:

• The average American spends two months of his/her waking year online

• The 4 major screens that occupy our time: laptop, TV, smartphone, tablet

• By the end of 2011, over half of Americans had a smartphone

Look around you on the bus, in the grocery store, even behind the steering wheel.

People everywhere are glued to their technology – and more and more that involves a “smart” phone.

How many times a day do you reach for your iPhone or Droid to check e-mail and get sucked into reading medium and low priority stuff?  Even worse, how much time are you spending browsing the myriad of apps you’ve downloaded or posting random stuff on Facebook?  No doubt, the new smartphones are incredible information and entertainment tools.  On the other hand, if misused, these “smartphones” can waste an enormous amount of your time.

Successful leaders have laser-like focus on priorities.  Ongoing responsibilities are carried out as efficiently as possible, leaving time to focus on the one or two change efforts designed to significantly improve things.  To achieve this, you can’t be a slave to gadgets.

Yes, many professionals use a smartphone as part of their time management strategy. We now have the power to access information and organize in ways never thought possible. However, sometimes it can be too much.

One thing that struck me about working with Bill Gates for many years was the focus he put on managing his time.  He stated often that time was the scarcest of all resources.  He would literally schedule uninterruptable 45-60 minute periods in the morning and late afternoon to clean up his e-mail, focusing primarily on the messages of significant priority.  He left the rest to be handled later (sometimes much later).

Used properly, smartphones can be a huge timesaver and even boost your productivity.

But be careful, becoming a slave to your “smart” gadget can be a big career impediment!

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