I find that my phone and other contact mediums are sometimes the source of anxiety and distraction. It delays the completion of work and makes me irritable… so several times per week for 2-3 hours, I put it on silent and hide it in my office – completely out of sight.

Here at 118Group, I am responsible for many facets of a client’s business – marketing, client relations, web design and development. I employ the services of several experts to make it all work.

Let’s not forget friends and family. So you can imagine my phone rings often.

Clients call with questions, issues, or just with excitement over something positive that happened as a result of our service..

The downside, is that this makes the ability to tedious or complex work – extremely difficult.

Several times per week, I simply, put my phone on silent and hide it somewhere in my office.

I turn off email.

I turn off Skype.

I put on music.

A feeling of peace fills my body, and I am able to turn out some of my best work.

But… your clients will fire you!

I do not want to give the wrong message. I strive to be available as much as possible for my clients. Night and weekend work and communication is fairly common for me.

But there simply comes a time, I need to fully unplug, for several hours to relax, and be more productive.

But… you’re going to miss a big project!

If you’re going to miss a big project because you have taken steps to make yourself more valuable to your clients… then the project was not meant to be. Take the time you have saved to rekindle past deals, contact a center of influence, or do some more prospecting – for the right type of client.

But… your family needs you!

I have 3 children, so in advance, I have a backup person be available on alert in case of a school emergency. It is usually someone in close physical proximity in case something family-related happens.

Statistics about phone distractions…

Here’s one such study from fastcompany.com:

workplace-distraction-activities-fastcompany

Whenever I see statistics about distractions in the workplace, every study seems to show a very similar response. 25%-30% of respondents always say that phone calls are the biggest distraction, and a similar number say that responding to emails is almost as big of a distraction. If you shut off your phone and don’t check emails for awhile, that’s easily half of the potential distractions already cut out. There’s a lot to say about unplugging for an hour or two. It can take quite a bit to then regain your focus from distractions, and statistics show that many people expect to be distracted every half-hour. Imagine how much more you can get done by not being distracted for several hours!

And Finally…

There is also a psychological side effect we have yet to discuss. Your clients will respect your “phone off-time” even more when you limit it.

So turn your phone off…

  1. Your clients will not fire you.
  2. Your staff will make it along without you.
  3. Your work will be completed quicker and more likely error-free.
  4. You will gain more respect.

So, would you give it a try? What concerns do you have about unplugging in the middle of an expected work day?