For the overworked and easily distracted person, a smartphone can be your best friend or your worst enemy in the quest for perfect productivity.
In the wrong hands, the always-on connectivity that brings work-related emails at all hours and those addictive and ever-updating social networking updates can turn your handset into a brain-depleting ball and chain, restricting your opportunity to properly focus during the day or truly switch-off during your downtime.
But before you switch off and vow never look again at that wireless tether to the office, remember that in the right hands, the Nokia Lumia 900, Lumia 800, or Lumia 710 can be a personal assistant, a means channeling your focus, maximizing your uptime and downtime, so when the evening rolls around, you can focus on the more important things in life.
Social networkers anonymous
Facebook and Twitter are Kryptonite to your focus. Thankfully, the one-step plan (who needs twelve?) to conquering the addiction is Windows Phone’s Me Hub. It collates notifications from all of your accounts and lets you post to all at once. A dynamic Live Tile will let you know when attention is required; meaning a simple glance at your Start screen should suffice.
Your mobile Office
Your Nokia Lumia 900 wants that tedious wait for the bus to become the most productive part of the day. Microsoft Office Mobile lets you to distribute important documents to or fine-tune a presentation before you reach your desk. Any changes will be synced back to SkyDrive.
A solid task management app with a prudent reminders system can be the perfect nag-free motivational tool. There are few more satisfying feelings than knocking down those to-do items before relaxing with a cold one. And, unlike a boss, it won’t yell at you when you miss something. Office has One Note, but we also like Tasks for its color-coded goodness.
Back to work, slacker!
You don’t whip out a newspaper during the middle of the workday and put your feet up, do you? So why are you reading about the Kardashians online when you’ve got an important meeting in half an hour? If you can’t resist the temptation to cyber-loaf, Sync articles back to offline reading apps like Burn After Reading for perusal on your break or on the way home.
One news app to rule them all
On some mornings, by the time we’ve caught up on all the news, the little hand has nudged past the 10 and we’re already swimming against the tide. Pulse Reader brings in feeds from handpicked sources and boasts a great interface. Get it done in one app on your way to work.
“Just one look, that’s all it took yeah…
The glance and go nature of the Metro UI brings an end to time-sapping app-hopping thanks to immediately visible calendar events, email, social notifications, sports scores, missed calls, eBay auctions…whatever you need.
Block out the cacophony
Your workmates are gossiping, Flo Rida is polluting the radio, the latte machine is driving you nuts and the intern needs babysitting. Did you know headphones are office code for “LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE”? Channel your focus with music apps like Spotify or 7Digital.
Home time is your time
Your boss may think giving out smartphones is a license to extend the working day by 16 hours. Shut him down by changing email settings to manual refresh, so you don’t automatically receive those, ahem, “URGENT.” emails at 9pm. Bossman should know that a well-rested worker is a productive worker. Besides, it’s American Idol finals night.
Updated October 1, 2015 1:32 pm