• Serena McGowan

How to Optimize Productivity on Your Smartphone

Smartphones don’t have to be solely for communication anymore. They are miniature computers that do everything from internet searches, social media sharing, emails, planning, and more. My phone has become a way for me to save notes, reminders, plan events and projects, edit pictures, and post updates on all social media platforms. However, I make sure that while using it for business or enjoyment, I am still productive.


Being productive while still enjoying time mindlessly scrolling through social media can be challenging, but it’s possible. I use social media to generate ideas for new blog posts, to network with similar people that started blogs or work a similar job, and to advertise (where permitted). I also use it to get ideas for writing prompts when I’m stuck and can’t think of a clever title or eye catching post.


For work, we use programs that allow us to track projects as tasks and subtasks. Slowly but surely, I am starting to adapt the principles from those apps into my personal work. For projects, we use Asana. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Asana at first and found it a bit confusing because I would be assigned particular tasks but not be part of the project, if that makes sense. Asana is great for projects that have multiple parts. You can assign subtasks, start dates, end dates, and priority to projects. I’m a big fan of organization so I appreciate Asana’s attention to user experience and making a website and app that are very easy to use. The only downside to Asana is that it is mainly for business use and not personal. After using Asana at work, I’ve adopted a similar approach to my personal work. I still use my physical planner (I know, old school) but I have yet to find an app that’s not enterprise level that encompasses everything I want in a personal projects application. For the time being, I use the Reminders app in conjunction with my planner to get the job done. If anyone has recommendations, please drop them in the comments!


Another way to optimize productivity is to limit how much time you spend on social media. If you’re using an iPhone, you can set limits for how much time is being spent on any given app. I find that if I’m spending too much time scrolling, I tend to forget about everything else that needs to get done for work, or around the house. Social media can be a blessing and a curse, so it’s important to realize the pros and cons of it.


One final way that I like to optimize productivity is to use Google calendar to plan everything that goes on during the week or month. I put everything in there from work assignments, web design projects, going out with friends and family, and private lessons at dance. If something is going on on a particular day, I’ll get a notification or a reminder for it.


When you’re trying to find your way as an entrepreneur like myself, it can be difficult if you’re not organized and don’t keep everything in check. I find that I’m the most stressed about work and my side business when I don’t have a plan of execution. Being productive and using social media to my advantage has helped me grow and also has increased my creativity. Don’t get me wrong, I still mindlessly scroll if I need a break, but when I find something that is worth saving, I’ll save it and go back to it when it’s time to work.