For nearly two and a half years, I have been a prisoner of my cellphone, and I’ve finally broken free.

I know, I know, this is not a new sentiment for most people. It seems like everywhere you look, there is a new article about millennials who are glued to their cellphones, unable to engage in the day to day because they are all consumed with their tiny screens. While I agree that this is a big problem for personal communication, I never stopped to consider what “working” from my phone was doing to my work/life balance.

WORKING FROM YOUR PHONE CAN BE THE BIGGEST DISTRACTION TO YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.

Since I opened my business, I have had the Mindbody app on my phone that allows me to see, in real time, the sales, attendance, and transactions taking place in my studio. Whether I’m sitting in the front lobby or hundreds of miles away visiting family, I’m able to virtually transport myself into my workplace with the swipe of a finger. For years, I’ve loved this app and have felt it’s allowed me to remain plugged in from afar. However, I had become so addicted to it I didn’t even realize the break in my workflow that it was causing.

You see, I was on the app constantly. After leaving a meeting, I’d open it immediately to see how things were going. As soon as my flight landed, the app would be open. It could be 11:30 p.m. and I would feel the need to see who was signed up for the 6 a.m. the next day – as if my looking at it could control it. There was nothing beneficial about having this constant stream of minute-by-minute knowledge.

As a business owner, you need to think ten steps ahead of everyone else in your business. You should have a one-month, three-month, and one-year plan, and getting bogged down by daily stresses only takes away from that mindset. It’s so easy to fall prey to the lie that your business can be made or broken in a single day. When the app was constantly at my disposal, I allowed it to dictate my emotions and, sometimes, my gameplan.

If I were having a good day of sales or attendance, I felt less pressured to plan out a long term campaign and relaxed more that day. If I were having a bad day, it was tempting to drop everything I was doing and focus on boosting the current month. Regardless of the position of my business, becoming obsessed with the daily activity stole my long term productivity. 

Our phones have a way of doing this to us. Maybe it’s not an app for you, but I would guarantee that working from your phone can be a huge distraction to both your scheduled work time and your scheduled rest time. By deleting the app from my phone, I have more freedom in the times when I’m not supposed to be working and also have more productive work time when I sit down at my computer to crank things out.

If you find yourself “losing time” to the little distractions in your daily life ask yourself what you could remove to create a more productive workspace and headspace. If you can’t allocate time to just focus on work or play without outside distractions, there is a strong chance you are muddling the experiences and lessening your productivity in all areas.