I’ll admit that I didn’t always understand the smartphone. I had a flip phone, and it did pretty much everything I wanted a phone to do. I was happy with it.
And in the first few months of owning a smartphone, I didn’t really change my opinion. It helped me keep track of my calendar, and it helped me find a building or two, but it wasn’t essential.
But then I moved to New York, and I started spending a lot of time on the train. Suddenly, I had these 10- and 15-minute chunks of time to kill.
That’s when it clicked.
I had downloaded this app called Pocket, which lets me save stories to read later — or offline. And it really changed things for me.
I needed something to do on those subway rides, so I started saving stories to read on Pocket when I was on the train. And then I had a little epiphany: I should just stop reading things at work entirely, and save them for the train rides — when I’ll have the time to focus on reading.
Now I’m reading as much as ever — it’s just a matter of changing when I read. And as a result, I’m more focused at work. Before, a new profile or an essay would come across Twitter and distract me, and it’d take an hour just to get back on track. Now I save those for later and keep on going with my tasks.
A little change, but it’s been a big help in keeping me productive at work. And I’ve got my smartphone to thank for that.