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Use Your Cell Phone As A Personal Productivity Tool

February 4th, 2007 · No Comments

The latest data on cell phone numbers shows 1.7 billion phones worldwide. Ostensibly the majority of these phones are purchased for security reasons such as calling for help during car problems or to call authorities when the caller is in trouble. However due to the ease of use of these devices, portability and heavy marketing many owners begin to use them more often than just emergency situations. The cell phone companies plan on this happening and it delights them when unplanned usage occurs and increases. But how many of those cell phone owners end up using even 20% of the phone’s features? Today’s phones include more horsepower and capabilities than the PDAs of the 1990s. Below are some ways to make your phone work for you and help you accomplish your daily or monthly goals.

  1. Alarm clock. Nearly all of the phones sold in the last several years have a built-in alarm clock. Unlike the alarm clock at your bedside this one is far more portable since it’s part of the phone. Use the alarm clock to wake up just 30 minutes earlier each morning and you’ve just bought yourself 3.5 hours a week of free time. Or perhaps you can use this 30 minutes of extra time to arrive at work early or on time if you are perpetually tardy. If you travel often most phones today will auto-sync the phone’s internal clock with your arrival city. Use this alarm clock to wake up 30 minutes earlier no matter where you are.
  2. Calendar function. The built-in calendar on the phone may be more cumbersome to use than a traditional PDA but the odds are likely you have your phone with you more often than your PDA (unless it’s a Palm Treo which is both in one). You can use this calendar for the traditional needs of remembering appointments, birthdays or special occasions and it will beep or vibrate a day, an hour or minutes before the event. A second more creative use is to have the phone become your “personal trainer” or “mental motivator” by setting up dates and times that will notify you to stay on target with your goals. How about a daily calendar alarm at 5:30 am to get you out of bed and exercising? How about a calendar alarm at lunch to remind you to run those errands you’ve been dreading or forgetting? How about a weekly alarm to remind you to weigh in to track your weight loss goals and fitness plans? Or a monthly alarm to check the progress of your cash fund for that big purchase? The sky is the limit with the calendar function for notifications to keep you on progress with your life goals.
  3. Integrate your phone with an online calendar such as one from Google or Yahoo that have easier interfaces to enter more data. These online calendars will send email notifications to you before the event as a reminder. Why not send it to your cell phone’s email address? This is the same as step 2 above but with an easier interface to enter your event. Email addresses for the major carriers are
    1. Verizon – phonenumber@vtext.com
    2. Nextel – phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com
    3. Sprint – phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
    4. Cingular – phonenumber@cingularme.com
    5. ATT – phonenumber@mobile.att.net
    6. Alltell – phonenumber@message.alltel.com
  4. Notepad. Many of the phones have a simple notepad for recording notes to yourself. Use this while waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting at a restaurant or waiting anywhere. I’d bet you have nearly 20 minutes a day of wasted time waiting in lines. Use your phone’s notepad to write down to-do lists, ideas for personal self-growth or at a bare minimum the grocery list of milk and diapers from your spouse. :)
  5. Voice recorder. Nearly identical to Step 4 with the Notepad feature. Only this one is far easier and safer to do while driving. Record a message to yourself about a great new business idea, a phone number someone just told you or an address you’re likely to forget. Or better yet use it to record verbal landmarks while driving through a part of town though which you’ll likely get lost upon your return trip. Use it to remember the pronunciation of a future sales prospect’s name or the wording of a difficult medical term.
  6. Train Your Subconscious Mind. Whether used by you or not most phones sold today have a built-in camera. Do what I did recently with a slip of paper. I printed out two goals in a large bold font on the paper. I then took a picture of those two goals just so it’s legible in the phone small screen. I then set that photo to be my wallpaper background. Studies have shown we look at our watches between 30 – 50 times per day, but cell phones have replaced watches as the timepiece of choice. You can see where I am going with this. You will now be looking at your goal 30 – 50 times per day! I came up with this idea about a month ago when I was struggling with two goals of mine (waking up at 5am during weekdays and losing a certain amount of weight). Seeing those two goals several dozen times per day has trained my brain to make these goals part of my subconscious mind. Once they are permanently etched into my head I’ll replace them with two other goals. It’s amazing how well this one has worked for me. Get creative with it. If you are in sales take a picture of your monthly sales quota goal. If you have a fitness goal take a picture of an optimally fit person or some text of your physical goals like I did. Who would have thought a cell phone could plant seeds of goal accomplishment in your head?
  7. Train Your Subconscious Mind, Part 2. A simpler solution than the photo idea in Step 6 is to merely change what is called the “banner” on your cell phone. Many carriers make it display the company’s name in text at the top center of the phone during its normal usage display. Go into the “display banner” setting and change it to say a 20-character goal. Some examples:
    1. Weigh 175 lbs.
    2. Close $ dollar sales.
    3. Bed by 10pm.
    4. Read a book a week.
    5. Eat low-fat.
    6. Don’t smoke.
  8. Call yourself. If it’s too difficult to use the Notepad or Voice Recorder try calling your home, work or cell phone itself voice mail system. Leave yourself a message about that important idea that just popped in your head or an item that must be done before you go to bed tonight or start work first thing in the morning tomorrow.

Use these creative ideas to think of your phone as more than just a communication device. It’s a portable goal-setting, goal-achieving machine.

Tags: Business · Get Motivated

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