6 smartphone habits that will boost your productivity

A woman holding a smartphone and writing in a book

It’s hard to discuss ways to improve productivity these days without mentioning your favorite portable companion. After all, your smartphone is always close at hand, and it’s probably the first and last thing you look at every day.

While there are endless productivity-boosting apps in the Play/App Store, you can incorporate the smartphone habits below to transform your device from a time-consuming distraction into a productivity enabler.

1. Plan and use focus mode

Maintaining your focus is more important than ever in today’s attention economy, where we constantly struggle with distractions in the form of notifications, news feeds, pings, and pop-ups. Every app and service aims to gain a slice of our limited attention, and it can be hard to stay focused on your task. Therefore, your ability to concentrate is an important determinant of your productivity and success in life.

Fortunately, tech giants like Apple are making strides to help you manage your focus with features like Focus Mode. Setting up and using Focus Mode on your iOS device is a great way to minimize distractions and better manage your time. Android offers a similar feature under the name of Digital Wellbeing.

In a nutshell, this feature allows you to filter notifications and temporarily disable certain apps when you need to focus on a task. This way, you can avoid the temptation to check your phone every time you receive a notification. There are different focus modes you can set up in iOS, including work, meals, and mindfulness.

To set up Focus mode on your iPhone, open the Settings app and press To concentrate. From here, you can add and manage the different focus modes according to your needs. If you are using an Android device, you can find similar functionality by going to Settings and scroll to Digital wellbeing and parental controls.

2. Customize your business apps

Customizing your availability and notifications for work-related apps is the next smartphone habit that can help boost your productivity. With remote work becoming the new norm, you’re likely managing your time and tasks using different work apps like Slack, Zoom, Google Calendar, and Trello.

Therefore, setting clear boundaries between your work and personal time helps you avoid the ongoing expectations of remote work and burnout. One way to do this is to turn off notifications for work apps when you’re off the clock. Additionally, turning off notifications from your workplace water cooler channels can help you avoid distractions when trying to focus on a task.

If you use Slack, you can also change your status to let your colleagues know when you’re unavailable. This allows you to have more control over when people can reach you.

3. Take advantage of automation technology

You might agree that doing the same tasks over and over on your smartphone isn’t the most productive use of your time. Luckily, you can take advantage of the automation tools built into your smartphone to take care of monotonous and repetitive tasks.

For example, you can use the Shortcut app on your iOS device to automate tasks you do often, so you can spend less time on your phone and more time on the things that matter. If you don’t want to create the shortcuts yourself, you can download some handy ones from the Internet.

If you’re using a Samsung device, you can take advantage of some time-saving features in Bixby by going to Settings > Advanced Features > Bixby Routines. From there, you can set up routines for different times and places. For example, you can set Bixby to automatically turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode when you sleep.

4. Track your screen time

Another way to increase your smartphone productivity is to know how much time you spend on specific apps on your device. This is especially effective if you spend too much time on your smartphone doing unproductive activities. By tracking your screen time, you can get insights into the apps you use the most and reduce common time wasters.

For iPhone users, you can check your Screen Time stats by going to Settings > screen time. You can also use the Break time functionality to schedule times when only specific apps will be available, or Application limits to set time limits for using certain apps.

Android users can track their screen time by going to Settings and scroll to Digital wellbeing and parental controls. From here, you can see how much time you spend on specific apps and set a daily limit for each app. Doing this regularly can help you become more mindful of your smartphone use and make changes to break bad habits.

5. Declutter and organize your home screen

Your smartphone home screen can quickly become messy and cluttered, especially if you frequently download new apps. Having too many apps on your home screen can be overwhelming and unproductive, as it becomes harder to find what you want when you need it.

That’s why it’s essential to declutter your home screen and organize it in a way that makes sense to you. The first thing to do is to delete the apps you no longer use. After removing the apps you don’t need, it’s time to organize the remaining ones. You can create folders for similar apps or place your most used apps on the home screen for easy access.

You can also add widgets to your home screen to quickly access the information you need. For example, you can add a widget for the weather forecast or your upcoming calendar events.

6. Practice being intentional with your smartphone use

One of the best ways to increase your smartphone productivity is to be more intentional with your device usage. This means being aware of when and why you use your phone and sticking to what you use it for to avoid falling prey to a mindless scrolling habit.

Journaling and meditation can be helpful for this, as they can help you become more aware of your thoughts and actions. If you need help getting started, you can use apps like diaro and insight timer.

Boost your productivity with these smartphone habits

Because of your inseparable bond with your smartphone, it’s important to use the device to enhance your productivity, rather than hinder it.

Adopting the right smartphone habits can help you increase your productivity and get the most out of your day. By following the tips above, you can make simple changes to your smartphone habits that will have a significant impact on your overall productivity.