Finally, no more Phone Distractions at Work!

Ezinne 'Zinny' Obayagbona
5 min readJun 26, 2017


I’m sure when you saw the title, you rolled your eyes because you are most likely reading this post on your phone.

But, please hold on. What I mean is phone distractions at work…during work hours, especially when you are working on a tight schedule but your phone won’t let you be.

I used to think I wasn’t a phone addict.

I was wrong.

Although I don’t think I’m addicted to my phone since I barely have people calling me. I’m sort of addicted to the social media apps in it. I keep refreshing my phone for updates even when it’s unnecessary.

Doesn’t that mean that I’m addicted?! Since these apps are on the phone anyway?

Since I relocated, it’s sort of affected how frequently my phone rings. More so, with the rise in the use of social apps, there has been a decrease in the use of the traditional call.

I would rather have a Facebook or Whats app call or direct messages as opposed to the traditional text messaging.

Just the other day, I wasn’t going to renew my contract with my service provider.

My argument was that I barely used their services. I am fortunate to have WiFi at home (not free though!), so why have another source of the internet that I seldom use?

I eventually had to budge though.

What if there was an emergency and I was on the road? There would be no means for me to communicate with anyone since I’d have no access to the internet and no phone plan available.

It made no sense for a minute.

So I ended up paying some dollars for a relatively cheaper package. Anyway, my phone doesn’t have any reason to ring- let’s just leave it at that!

All the same, I’m a bit clingy to it which is quite troubling if you ask me.

A few days ago, I had a chat with a friend and we got to realize that Instagram is one of the highest forms of distraction at work from recent studies.

Is that surprising to you?!

This reminded me of how often I’m inclined to take a look at my phone.

A few months back, I made up my mind to put more focus on work and avoid getting distracted with my phone.

Since I blog, it’s expected that I keep readers engaged and updated on blog related news, but this could also affect my job performance. So, there has to be that balance.

And my job is one I love too- asides the fact that it covers most of my bills. Haha!

I’ve discovered pretty fun ways to keep checks and balances with phone use at work to limit any form of distraction. Because, at the end of the day, even if you are allowed to use your phone at work, you should do so with caution and good judgment.

You don’t want people thinking that you made an error because you are always on your phone.

I’m sure you totally get what I’m talking about.

1. Turn your Ringer Off

This is a no-brainer but I guess I had to have this on the list for people who tend to reduce the volume of the ringer to the lowest.

Irrespective of how you decide to reduce the volume, it’ll be a form of distraction to you and others at work. Just knowing that the phone is ringing will distract you.

And no, don’t keep your phone on vibrate mode either. Please don’t. It makes little or no difference.

2. Don’t take your Phone to a Meeting (except you absolutely need to!)

If you work with your phones and maybe need the calendar for scheduling, then you may take your phone for a meeting. Otherwise, I strongly advise you not to.

Some people may argue that the meetings may be too boring and taking a phone along is a way to break the boredom.

In my opinion, I advise against this because in the workforce we have learned how important it is for decision makers to have a good impression of you.

You never know who is watching you. A few minutes without your phone won’t hurt. Even a few hours!

So except your phone is relatively important for the success of the meeting, then I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t take it with you.

Read: 5 Ways to Manage Workplace Distractions

3. Hide that Phone!

Yes, this particular tip has helped me lift my productivity level.

Jeez. At some point, I had to learn to keep my phone in a drawer. Yes, it was that bad!

Phones have a way of zapping your concentration and if you just can’t control yourself, then drastic measures should be taken. Anything to ensure that you don’t mess up at work.

Did you see that I didn’t say “put the phone aside”? No. Again, drastic measures must be taken in some instances so, “hide” it is.

4. Use your Phone mainly during your breakfast/ lunch hour

The ‘don’ts’ are too much in this post and I’m sure that some readers are like: “wow. Zinny, this is going to be a difficult one!”

Yeah, yeah. Truthfully, even for me, it’s a constant process. But like we all know, anything is possible.

Lunch hour is a great time to catch up on anything you think you are missing out on your phone. You can have your lunch and still enjoy spending time with your phone.

According to my nutrition lecturer, food digests better when you spend more time eating. Hmm. I guess that’s good news. So spend some quality time with your meal and your phone in hand.

I think this works better when you are not with a group, I suppose.

These are some tips that have come in handy in trying to apply my best judgment in the use of my phone at work. I hope you find these tips useful too.

Now, please share with me some ways you try to reduce the habit of always being on your phone. I know this is a common challenge so I’d love to hear from you too.

Did you know that I started a YouTube Channel just recently? If you didn’t, please subscribe to my channel: Zinny Factor (that’s the name of the channel!), and hear what I’ve got to share with my tiny voice!



Ezinne 'Zinny' Obayagbona

There are many things I love to do, I don’t think I’m that simple to sum up. All the same, I work as a Senior Customer Success Manager and enjoy writing.