5 Smartphone Rules Every Leader Should Follow

— June 14, 2017

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Do you control your smartphone—or does your smartphone control you?

All of us probably feel like it’s the latter and not the former sometimes, but being too dependent on your mobile device can be bad news—especially when you’re in a leadership position. Your device can sap your productivity and sabotage your peace of mind, which is why I highly recommend that all leaders institute some smartphone rules for themselves.

Now, I’m not necessarily saying that all these rules are imperative for everyone —but I am saying you should think about your smartphone habits, and consider some helpful limitations you might place on yourself.

With that said, here are five specific rules I’d recommend.

How to Get Your Smartphone Use Under Control

Never Check Your Phone in the Middle of a Conversation

This is largely just a matter of good manners, but it’s also a matter of respect: When you can’t maintain interest in a conversation without checking your device, it’s a clear signal of disrespect to the other person in your dialogue. What’s more, it significantly diminishes the quality of your interactions; when you’re not engaged, you’re not listening, learning, or offering value.

Turn Off Alerts When You’re Trying to Get Work Done

I advocate for at least two hours each day where you do uninterrupted work—and uninterrupted means turning off all the email and text and social media notifications on your phone. Train yourself to shut down your device altogether during those productive periods of your day.

Don’t Use Your Phone in Meetings

Leave it on your desk or out in the car. Seriously. Be present in your meetings. Be alert, dialed in to what’s being said, without worrying about what’s going on with your phone.

Take a Break—Without Your Phone

Instead of playing games or scrolling through Facebook for 10 minutes, give yourself a little break by getting up and walking about, perhaps even talking with a co-worker face-to-face. Learn how to refresh your body and mind without the use of your smart device.

Don’t Let Your Phone Interrupt Your Rest

Finally, don’t allow your phone to disrupt your healthy sleep cycles. Instead, put it on Do Not Disturb mode while you get those eight hours. Your text messages and notifications can wait until morning!

Take Back Control

As an executive leadership coach, I’m always telling clients to take back control from their smartphones—and hopefully these tips will show you how.

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Author: Rick Goodman

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