Attention is the greatest asset a service technician or sales professional can possess.  It is also the best gift to give a client. Sadly, this asset is being drained away by technology. Smartphones being the worst.

The average person spends 1/3rd of his day on his smartphone. He checks his phone about 85 times a day. That equates to 5 hours and 20 minutes of daily use, or checking the phone every 11 minutes.

This is a serious problem!  And the problem exists in 2 major areas:

#1 – Alerts and Interruptions

I witnessed an HVAC Sales Professional check a text message at the time of a client objection. The objection was subtle. And, it was fast. The HVAC Sales Professional looked away for just a moment, and that’s all it took. His opportunity was gone.

I’ve seen a Service Plumber take his wife’s phone call while the homeowner was knocking at his truck window. That made the homeowner extremely angry. You can read that story here:  How to Win with Irate Women.

These examples of bad listening are obvious. These examples stand out, because the interruption has some form of Alert. Like a Ring, a Ding, or a Vibration.

The smartphone is the #1 killer of listening skills today.

#2 – Unaware Addiction

Dr. Sally Andrews, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, studies the effects of smartphone use on people.  She has the following to say:

“A lot of smartphone use seems to be habitual, automatic behaviors that we have no awareness of.”

I get this. Why? Because I have the worst smartphone habit of all. This post is for me, as much as it is for you.

I check my Social Media Accounts and Email accounts way too much. It’s a bad problem. Why do I do it? For the same reasons you do it.

Smartphones feed the addiction center in the brain. Every time you see a smartphone interaction, there is a little release of dopamine. This makes you feel good. When there isn’t an interaction, this makes you feel bad. So, you keep looking.

This mental monster is destroying your attention span, and is jacking up your ability to listen. It may also be causing you high levels of stress, and making it hard for you to sleep.

The Destructive Qualities of Smartphone Addiction:

  1. Impaired attention
  2. Reduced productivity
  3. Shortened memory
  4. Dampened diagnostic skills
  5. Increased stress
  6. Sleeping problems

Are you convinced that smartphones are a problem?  Good, you should be convinced.

But, the industry demands that you carry a smartphone. This enhances the problem of smartphone addiction.

So, how is it possible to avoid the damages of a smartphone?”

You have to get intentional about curbing the addiction.

My #1 Smartphone Hack to Boost Productivity, and Curb the Addiction

To limit my interruptions, I use the “Do Not Disturb” setting on my iPhone. And, I have my phone set-up in a very particular way.

Each of these settings are designed to maximize my focus. It allows me to give 100% of my attention to the task at hand.

My Settings and Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Go into your settings menu.
  2. Select “Do Not Disturb.”
  3. Turn on the following settings
    1. Turn on ‘Manual”
    2. Turn on “Scheduled”. Set a schedule that allows you to sleep well.
    3. Allow Calls From “Favorite”.  I only have Shannon listed as my favorite. She is my wife and business partner and respects my work. Your favorite list needs to be small.
    4. Turn on “Repeated Calls”.  This will  force the phone to ring if someone calls you back to back.  This covers emergencies.
    5. Select “Always” in SILENCE Setting.  This will allow you to use your phone calculator and software without interruptions.
  4. When you go into a call, and after you have alerted the office, turn on your “Do Not Disturb” function in the bottom drag menu.

Settings in iPhone for Do Not Disturb Mode

If you follow these steps, you will see your stress go down, and your results go up!

QUESTION: How are you balancing life and work in the age of smartphones? Share your answer using the Social Media icons below.

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