Apps: We just can’t live without them. They help us travel, shop, and make plans for the weekend. They even help us work – at least, that’s the hope. As it turns out, there are some excellent reasons to reduce the number of work apps on your phone, and some easy strategies to get more done with fewer widgets.
App Fatigue is Real
Remember the days when apps were new and cool? It’s true that fun, useful apps come out all the time, but it’s best to be selective. While developers work hard to roll out new, addictive apps, consumers and workers feel anxious, sidetracked, and overloaded.
Too Many Apps, Not Enough Focus
Theminds behind productivity apps like Concur, Salesforce, Workday, and Asana never intended to cause distraction. In fact, the opposite is true. But instead of heightening focus, these apps compete for attention. As a result, users are less engaged, more distracted, and far less productive. In a recent survey conducted by Dropbox, respondents revealed that they were frustrated by the number of apps required to complete tasks, andswitching from one app to the next was a leading cause of confusion. Furthermore, respondents said that they would prefer to have information from apps in one central, easy-access location.
Methods for Reducing Work Apps
Depending on the apps you use and your reasons for using them, there are a few effective ways to eliminate unnecessary apps, freeing up focus and precious gigabytes at the same time.
Uninstall Apps You Don’t Use
Walt Mossberg penned an article for The Verge, discussing his reason for deleting 165 apps from his iPhone, and encouraging others to do the same. Because he is a tech reviewer, his app library is a lot larger than average. His reasons for deleting apps had nothing to do with freeing up space; instead, he dumped the ones he found least effective and kept the ones that made his phone a better tool to work with.
Simply deleting apps is one way to cut back on the confusion that can take hold when trying to access essential information, but it’s crude in comparison to the next tactic.
Try Task Integration
Sapho makes an excellent point in mentioning that task management apps do nothing to increase productivity. In fact, they often increase the burden of distraction. Task integration delivers essential information and leaves the distracting stuff behind. Imagine receiving relevant, personalized tasks based on your work priorities, with no need to wade through different logins. This method is simple, streamlined, and efficient – and it automatically eases the burden of app fatigue. Give it a try, and you’re likely to discover that you decrease distractions and free up a significant amount of space in your mind.
Disable App Notifications
What is there are apps you can’t get rid of or want to use occasionally? In an article for Wired, David Pierce eloquently states that “Allowing an app to send you push notifications is like allowing a store clerk to grab you by the ear and drag you into their store. You’re letting someone insert a commercial into your life anytime they want. Time to turn it off.”
You may be ableto disable app notifications all at once by looking for a “Do Not Disturb” function in your device’s Sound Settings. Alternately, you can dig into your phone’s settings menu and shut off all the dings, buzzes, and beeps one by one. Leave the essential communications apps alone, or go a step further and reduce disruption by selecting “Show Silently” for Android or “Show in Notification Center” for iPhone. You’ll still be able to use the apps you like, but they will no longer bother you when you’re trying to get things done.
Use This Mind Hack: Remember that You can Re-Install if Needed
Most of us are familiar with FOMO – the dreaded fear of missing out. Apps are forgiving. If, after deleting an app with questionable value, you find that you really do need it, you can always reinstall.