How Often do you Check Your Phone?
Recently I read an article in PureWow, where the author said he/she checked her phone 106 times in a day on average. Apparently there is even an app to track it, which sounds beneficial to all of us. The number was striking to me. In a twelve hour time period, that is nearly nine times an hour or every 7 minutes!
Unless you work in a setting where you turn off your phone and/or don’t use it, you probably find your numbers are up there as well. I’m sure mine are. We rely on it for so much. Today we use it for such a variety of purposes, including work. Which means our phone can make us more productive.
Yet how many of the 106 average times is simply to check when our phone announces something new. Email, text, phone call, alerts, our phones seem to beep or vibrate often through out our day.
Is that productive? When you receive an alert of some type, think of the time involved from that moment. First, it distracts you from what you are doing. Whether that causes you to lose your train of thought or not, it is still a distraction. So you stop to pull out your phone. That takes a little time as well. Then you check to see what the notice is.
- A text? You are likely to answer it.
- A phone call? Chances are you will answer it. If not, you will check the voice mail to hear what the call was about.
- An email? May as well take a look, and delete it if unimportant. A news alert? Better click and see what it’s about.
- All finished? Then it’s time to refocus on what you were doing, and get back to work.
No matter the cause, the process of checking your phone will take about a minute each time., from the distraction to refocus. If you are like me, as long as I’m reading the text, I may as well see if there are any new emails…
The number of times you check your phone then takes 106 minutes. That’s over an hour and a half each day.
Is that why you don’t have time?
Since most of us would say we don’t have enough time to do the things we put off, doesn’t that put it in a different light? What could you do with an extra hour in your day? Write an article or two?
Clean your house? Pray or meditate? File that stack of papers away? Play with your children?
Whatever it is you say you don’t have time for would probably fit into that hour. To me that is profound. We think of our phones as saving us time, yet they cost as well. And I am so guilty.
So I am trying to be aware. Sometimes that is all it takes. There are different steps I will take to cut back. Keeping the phone across the room is one way. Turning the sound off is another. Since my daily task list is on there too, it helps me to plan an hour ahead so I won’t have to recheck to see what needs to be done next.
It’s so easy—at least for me—to want to do ten things while I am using it, once that phone is in my hand. It’s a personal decision as to whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.
If we can even cut back to checking our phones every thirty minutes, in that twelve hour period we would save nearly an hour of our day. Time enough to finish this article.