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Why Working on Your Phone May Not Improve Your Business

By Jill Salzman

Just how mobile are you during your workday?

You've seamlessly moved a lot of your work to your phone through apps. You can check and create notes in Evernote there. You can respond to business emails there.  You can interact on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn using their apps. But I've started to realize this isn't such a good idea for everyone in business.

We have kids to take places. We have mouths to feed. We are women on the go! So you feel obligated to turn your attention away from your home office and onto your mobile device. Big brands have been investing more and more into making our lives easier on the go. There's an app for that, right? There's an app of every kind now available to you to accomplish what you'd normally do at your desk. But at the end of the day, is it improving your work?

I ask because I recently talked to a social media guru who mentioned that he never, ever tweets on the go. I then heard from a marketing director that she refuses to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on her phone because of the mistakes she's made (been to DamnYouAutocorrect.com yet? It's hilarious.) I've had the same experiences that they have.

When I reply to people via my iPhone, I tend to be much more blunt or brusque than I ever would from my desk chair. If I check my email at the gym, I tend to read people's emails quicker and read emotion into their messages that's just not there when I'm in my comfortable, familiar workspace. Every contribution I make on the go is ever so slightly more aggressive; it's as though I'm trying to tell people, "Hurry it up! I'm on the go. Let's get through this so that I don't have to bother, people." And honestly, I don't mean that at all. 

For moms in business, it's incredibly hard to stay on top of an inbox when you have to be in five places at once. And what with social media and those streams updating on a constant basis, there's a desire to keep up with those streams while you're at the playground or in the car waiting for your kid to get out of class. What's not working, though, is the ability to think clearly without any external stress and interact with people to accomplish what you really need to accomplish: good, solid, and positive work. Just because we now have the ability to do everything via phone apps does not mean that it will improve work product. You can't interact in the same way and as the recipient of many a harried email, I can tell you: we all know you're in a rush. Slow it down.

While the Twitter addict in me may very well keep Hootsuite on my iPhone, I have recently stopped doing any other work on my phone. It's too counterproductive. And I'm pretty sure that recipients of my communications are all the better for it.

How much time are you spending doing work on your phone?

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.  A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then a baby jewelry company before her current venture. Jill has been featured in national media outlets including People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, and WGN TV.  In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.