Today I want to talk about one of my pet peeves. And offer a solution that will make you – and everyone around you – a little bit more productive.
It’s when people put their phone on silent… and yet leave the vibrate function on.
When you couple this with the popular practice of placing cell phones on the dinner/boardroom table, what happens is that whenever a message or a call comes in – it vibrates.
And makes a sound.
Which defeats the whole purpose of setting the phone to silent in the first place.
Let’s make it clear – setting your phone to vibrate is NOT setting your phone to silent.
Almost everyone I know gets alerted to the sound or movement of a vibrating cell phone. And what this means, is that we are still letting our attention be held at the mercy of others. Phone vibrates – I hear it, you hear it, everyone else around the table hears it. And we have to either answer it, or press a button to silence it.
If you want to set your phone to silent then REALLY set it to silent – no ring tone, no vibrate.
Here’s exactly how you do that.
1. Set Vibrate on Silent to “off”. Here’s what it looks like on an iPhone:
2. Use Do Not Disturb mode. This is an iPhone thing, though I’m sure Android has an app that can take care of this too. Here are the settings I recommend:
You’ll notice that between 9pm and 5am (my usual sleep time) I don’t allow incoming calls, messages or notifications, except from favorites. I also turn repeated calls to “off”.
What this does is it helps you garner some respect for your time and your attention.
If we let people interrupt us in the middle of a meeting, in the middle of an activity or in the middle of a meal (probably one of the few times during the day that we get peace and quiet in today’s world)… then what does that say about how much we value our own time and attention?
These are both things that belong TO US, and once we start giving them away liberally, it becomes really hard to get them back.
The only actions here are to set your phone to silent (true silent), and to help spread the word – the next time a friend or colleague’s phone vibrates across the table, tell them. And make everyone a little bit more productive.
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