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5 Low-Tech Ways to Throttle Time-Sucking Mobile Devices So You Can Concentrate

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Do you find yourself losing precious minutes or even hours on your mobile device? Maybe you just check your here and there or load up a game once in a while. However, these time-wasters can really add up and prevent you from focusing on what's important. In just a few years, mobile devices have completely transformed the way we work, play and interact. However, we might not be prepared to deal with the intense time suck that can result from constant information access.


According to figures published by Businessweek, the average American spends 40 minutes a day checking their social media account. Just in case you're not alarmed yet - that's over four hours a week and over 243 hours a year. Just imagine what you could accomplish by reducing just your social media usage. Want to cut down on mobile time suck? Try implementing these five tech practices.

Related: How Can I Keep Employees From Texting Too Much?

1. Take control over notifications

We're less likely to become distracted by an app if we can't see the notifications. It's time to go digging through your or tablet notification settings and switch off everything that isn't vital. Think about your vices. If you obsessively check your new followers or Facebook comments, maybe it's time to cut those constant interruptions out of your life, starting with notifications.

2. Physically relocate your mobile device

Whe you are trying to get some work done, switch your phone to "do not disturb" mode, selectively silence certain app alerts and place your phone somewhere away from your workstation. This will help you maintain focus while you complete a task, and you'll be less likely to fiddle aimlessly with your mobile device.

3. Check updates at the end of the day

If apps are constantly vying for your attention, then do your catching up all at once, rather than intermittently throughout the day. Give yourself 10-15 minutes to catch up on social media updates, personal emails and all of the other apps that are trying to push notifications to you. Go in with a sense of purpose and shut off your screen once you've caught up on everything. Don't get lost in the maze of news feeds.

Related: This Man Made His Smartphone 'Distraction-Free' -- And It Changed His Life

4. Build productive habit

We often turn to certain mobile apps when we're trying to distract ourselves during a lull. You might be waiting in line at the supermarket or trying to kill time on the bus. However, these precious minutes could be used productively. Download informative podcasts, get a language-learning app or use a flashcard app to learn new concepts.

5. Delete apps

If you're spending an inordinate amount of time playing a mobile game or buzzing around social media, then sometimes you just need to remove it from your life. Deleting apps completely can help you eliminate time suck by making it very inconvenient for you to access the app.

Related: 5 Procrastination-Busting Smartphone Strategies

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