I started my first company before the thought of smart phones in 2003, with a land line, an email address and a dream. My marketing consisted of flyers, handouts, radio ads and networking. After a specific time in the evening, I turned off the work-phone to focus on a little meditation before bedtime. 

Our phones have made business so much easier, but now your distractions have direct access to you all day. Today, my phone goes off hundreds of times per day with unimportant notifications. However, I'm more disciplined than ever about productivity and achieving tangible results each month for my company.

Although we are all guilty of scrolling through our timeline, what starts out as a few minutes of relaxation can become hours of non-stop distractions from your business and career. It is not intentional, but it happens. 

Once I decided to cross the million dollar mark, I discovered the importance of dedicated focus. No more long group texts throughout the day, checking my Instagram account for the latest fashion, responding to text messages that asked me to check my email, etc. Adding a level of accountability to my former phone addiction has been rewarding - financially and personally. 

You may underestimate how much time you spend on your phone and the impact it has on your business. We have all spent time-

  • Checking emails and DM's 
  • Checking and replying to every post on social media 
  • Peeking onto other peoples timeline repeatedly 
  • Texting and responding to non-essential messages
  • Tuning into a live stream that is irrelevant to your success
  • Multi-tasking on your phone during meetings
  • Constantly checking your notifications

Your phone is killing your productivity. Underestimating the value of wasted time is why your phone is getting in the way of you making your way to your first million. 

In addition, the non-stop lack of discipline also allows you to spend more time confirming your fears, insecurities and doubt as other people's filtered highlight reel and negative stories appear at your finger tips. Most of the notifications on your phone do not require your immediate attention, yet we have become consumed with every "ping" and "buzz" that goes off throughout the day, filled with distractions that interrupt productivity. 

Here are three ways to turn it around.

1. Set a time to check your phone  

Do not check your phone when you wake up, it alters your mood. I am an early riser but I have a non-negotiable policy of ignoring my phone until 11am for fifteen minutes. During that time, I only look at important notifications and my calendar. Set an alarm on your phone to hold yourself accountable, so you can get back to important tasks that will grow your business. 

2. Automate, automate, automate 

Use tools such as Monday, Hootsuite, and Mailchimp to automate your email and social media posts. This step will help you to be more efficient with time, while engaging with your audience. Also, consider hiring a social media coordinator to help you manage posts, direct messages and responses, as a way to filter out the posts and emails are that require your immediate attention. 

3. Respond at the end of the day

After you automate, use the last part of your day to respond to posts and messages. I respond to my emails between 6pm to 7pm, unless it is urgent. Whatever cannot be completed within the hour will be forwarded to the following day, so I can connect with my team to discuss our progress for the day by 8pm. 

Published on: Jan 30, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.