You are a busy executive, you are tied to your smartphone, needing to know what is happening as it happens and responding just as quickly.  Locket App data shows users unlocking their phone 110 times per day. So how often should you unlock it, when on vacation or in a meeting?

Check Your Phone Twice

I had a manager ask me how often to check her phone when on a ski trip, as she was newly promoted to a global position.  My answer, “2 times a day.” Yes, that’s right, 2 times a day.  [Tweet “Check your phone 2x a day while on vacation, and relax the rest of the time. “] In advance, let your team know that if there is something urgent, they need to call or text you – otherwise you aren’t checking or responding.  Otherwise she would be looking at that phone every 5 minutes, and well, never skiing.  Plus, make sure you have an auto-reply set for emails providing your contact details for those urgent needs.  By the way, she followed my guidance and it all worked out perfectly.  She had a great ski trip and no one seemed to have any urgent needs.

Don’t Check Your Phone

What about when you are not on a vacation?  How about during meetings?  I say never.  If you are running the meeting, are you looking at your phone?  Are you stopping the meeting to look at your phone while all eyes (except for those looking at their phones) are on you?  Probably not.  So, if you are attending a meeting – put your phone away.  Give the members of the meeting your full attention.  I have been guilty of looking at my phone multiple times during a meeting, and honestly, I can’t add value to the meeting.  There is no way I can keep up with the discussion nor stay focused.  I might as well not be there.  [Tweet “During a meeting, don’t check your phone, stay focused, respect your colleagues, and add value.”] So, either leave the phone in your office or turn it over during the meeting (that pesky red light indicator can be very tempting if you can see it).

The Bottom-Line

We are a culture of being wired 24/7.  It is here to stay and isn’t lessening any time soon.  Hey, the smart watch is already out!  There is nothing, however, that replaces the face-to-face interaction or the ability to take time to ourselves without any type of interruption from technology or other distractions.  I just ask you to consider that you can put your phone down, you can turn it over, you can turn it off.  Go ahead, try it.

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As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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