how to stop using your phone at work tips from productivty expert tonya dalton

5 Rules for Using Technology During Work

One of the biggest topics we’re talking about all season long of the podcast is cultivating happiness as a means of boosting our productivity… And I think that this is so important when it comes to the workplace and how we feel on the job.

On Episode 090 this week, we’re taking the idea of cultivating happiness through disconnecting with our smartphones, social media accounts, and other devices so that we can instead turn our attention back to ourselves, and to those that we love and admire most.

But here’s the thing… Our connection to our devices does not just affect us in our personal lives, it can also carry on into the workplace if we aren’t careful!

So today, I’m sharing my Top 5 Rules for using technology during work hours. These have not only helped me to limit my own presence on social media and the Internet in general, but they have also helped me to feel significantly less stress while I’m working at the studio.

Because you know what? Technology—as great as it may be for the times that we’re living in, particularly when it comes to having access to information and the like—it can actually be incredibly detrimental to our health and well-being if we aren’t careful with how much we expose ourselves to it… And with poor health, also comes a decrease in happiness both physically and mentally, which is never a good thing, right?

So, on that note, let’s get started!


5 Rules for Using Technology During Work


1. No Social Media (unless it’s your job) –

This one could be tricky depending on what your specific job entails, but for those of you who do not “need” to access your business’s social media pages and the like…

My first major rule is to opt for a firm NO social media during work hours. This is especially true when it comes to your personal social media channels, because more often than not, social media has a habit of sucking you into this time warp where you spend way more time scrolling than you may have originally planned… which means you’re spending less time on your immediate work-related tasks.


2. Emergency Calls Only

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but I think it bears mentioning.

My second favorite rule of thumb is allowing for emergency phone calls only during work hours. Clearly, there is a fine line that is drawn for those of you with children or for family members experiencing health issues (and I totally hear you there), and so with that in mind… If you need to keep your personal cell phone within reach in case of an emergency, see my fourth rule of thumb and carry on!

Beyond that, let your friends and family know when you’re at work and that, if they happen to call… You’ll return their call during a break. They’ll understand, I promise!


3. Password Protection—Always!

Some of you may keep confidential information in your Google Drive or somewhere else on your smartphone (and this may actually be a requirement of your job, so I understand how frequently this particular issue may arise).

In that case, I highly encourage you to enable two-step authentication when it comes to any of your work-related documents or apps and ensuring that your smartphone and computer is password protected to prevent anyone from hacking your information. This is something that we have been doing here at the IWP studio from the beginning, and it has saved us from so many headaches.


4. Silence or on Vibrate –

Just as it’s important to decline personal calls, texts, and to disconnect from your personal social media pages on the job… I also think it’s vitally important to give your supervisor and/or your fellow coworkers your undivided attention at work. This is especially true when it comes to meetings!

Across the board, I recommend keeping your phone and other devices on silent or vibrate while you’re at work, especially if turning your phone off completely is just not a realistic option for you.

Not only does this convey the message to your supervisor that you’re present and engaged in your work tasks, but it also sends a message to you that it’s time to work – and your attachment to your devices can wait until you’re off the clock.


5.  Personal Headphones for Music, Media, etc. –

If your office is like mine, then chances are… You may be allowed to listen to music, or to use your phone during your break or lunch hours. In that case, I encourage you to bring a set of headphones to use for that purpose!

While you may enjoy your music or other noisy apps… Chances are, one or more of your coworkers may not, and it’s important to be respectful of their time as well.

So, remember… When it comes to your phone, use headphones if you’re someone who enjoys listening to music. Your team members will thank you for it!



Have any rules of your own for using your phone or other devices while you’re at work? I’d love to hear them! Be sure to share your ideas in the comments below… And tune in to Episode 090 of Productivity Paradox this week for even more tips and tricks on giving yourself a digital detox during those moments when it matters most.  (Spoiler Alert: There’s a FREE DOWNLOAD included to help you on your own hiatus from the digital world. You won’t want to miss out!)



PODCAST: Episode 090: Disconnecting When It’s Time to Connect

VIDEO: Digital Detox: 7 Easy Tips

BLOG: How To Get Your Kid to Look Up From Their Phone


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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton