Shirley's Articles / Personal Effectiveness

How Smart Are Your Smartphone Habits?

The smartphone has forever more revolutionised the way we live and work, hopefully for the better. But for a moment, consider your own technology habits. How has the smartphone changed your life? Has it all been for the better?

People so often complain about feeling drained, over worked and stressed out (me too!) It is here that, even when used professionally, smartphones can do more harm than good. The device that is meant to make your life easier can in fact take it over. It’s so important that we take control of the smartphone, not the other way around. It can be your most important tool to success, but only if you know how to use it effectively.

Firstly, your smartphone needs to be simplified and organised, or there is no chance your life will be. Get the right apps for you, not all the apps on the market! In this case, less is more. If you have any applications you are not using or have never used (or don’t know how to use), get rid of them. Really, to make your life easier, you must know your phone, know where everything is, and know how it all works!

Once you have your phone customised to meet your needs, maintain smartphone hours. Giving in to 24-hour access and availability can make it feel like you never stop working, and you never really have time to reset. Perhaps some people can handle this, but the truth is most can’t – and trying to do so will catch up with you sooner rather than later! Some companies in the US are already making a ‘smartphone blackout’ rule for their employees. These ‘smart’ companies have found their staff has increased in productivity, efficiency and overall happiness. Smartphone hours may be difficult to self-implement, but choose your hours, stick to them, and you will feel the same benefits.

Smartphones are amazing. They have opened up the world and advanced our lives. However, we all need to use them responsibly. Do not get carried away with being digitally everywhere and available to everyone all of the time. Remember that your health and happiness is important too – in fact, even moreso!

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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