Keep Working Apps Away From Your Phone

Does your phone keep showing you work email or Slack notifications even after your work day is over? Do you feel obligated to open these apps when you see notifications just to make sure you haven’t missed anything important – and then feel obligated to reply right away, even if the message might wait until the next day?

I tried to prevent this behavior by deleting all push notifications from my phone. If I want to know if someone sent me an email, I have to make a proactive decision, open my mail app and check .

But I could have taken it one more step – and so can you.

If you have a job that you don’t need to be “connected”, you can make it easier to disconnect at the end of the day by removing any work-related apps that are currently running on your phone. …

This idea comes from Front co-founder Matilda Colleen, who recently shared with Inc. his advice for maintaining a work-life balance :

First, she removed all work apps from her phone. When she’s out of the office – her typical work schedule is from 8 am to 6 pm – she has to pull out her laptop to get any work done. Among other benefits, it makes her less likely to be sucked down a work-related rabbit hole by a mobile notification. This tactic has benefited company-wide health benefits: All Front employees who, on average, spend less than two hours a day on the phone (shown in on-screen time tracking apps) receive $ 200 a month without any cap. (Colleen uses her money for another stress reliever: massage.)

I know this is easier said than done, in part because many of our apps combine both work and personal information (for example, my Gmail app collects both work and personal emails, and Slack tracks conversations with colleagues alongside with conversations with friends).

It’s also easier said than done, because at certain times, being able to connect to work through your phone is extremely useful, whether you’re using email while waiting for a dentist appointment or pinging Slack so everyone knows you’ll be a little late because your train is delayed.

So you can consider alternatives such as … well, if you really want to, you can uninstall all work-related apps at the end of each workday and reinstall them again the next morning.

Or, if that sounds too ridiculous to be feasible, you can turn off or defer all work-related push notifications (permanently or at the end of each day, depending on your responsibilities) and put all your work apps on the second screen of your phone.

This way, you never think, “I should check Slack” just because you unlocked your phone to do something else, and the Slack icon made you wonder if you should check it out. You will need to actively choose to go to the next screen, actively choose to open the Slack app, and actively choose to check your work channels for new messages.

And when your work apps are out of sight and out of your head, it can be much easier for you to make other choices after work.

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