When we think of airplane mode on an iPhone or iPad, we think of air travel. That glorious switch on our device shuts down all communication, which surely saves us from falling from the sky. Thank God for airplane mode!
Down here on the ground, airplane mode can be used in ways to help us become less distracted and more productive. Here are five reasons airplane mode can help you get more done. I love the button on my phone and you should too.
1. No calls. It is seldom that I get an urgent call that can't wait. Since the inception of the cell phone, we carry our devices everywhere just in case. The truth is few of us ever receive an emergency call. Note how many emergency calls you get this week. Do you see what I mean?
2. No notifications. Admit it, you have promised yourself to review your notifications and adjust the settings countless times. Yet you are still interrupted by that annoying game your kid put on your phone. It pokes you with reminders to gain more coins, gems, or to feed your virtual kitten. Yes, you can turn off all of the notifications, but most people don’t because what if someone tags you on Facebook today?
3. No browsing. What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? What’s the latest breaking news? Has anyone shared my latest blog post? It doesn’t matter which browser you use on your phone, Chrome, Safari, Atomic, iCab… each leads you right back online. You can’t access them without an internet connection.
4. No Siri interruptions. I was once on a live webinar with hundreds of people, when suddenly Siri replied to me out of the blue. One second I was rocking my way through a presentation, the next I was looking at my phone exclaiming, “Not now, Siri!” Shut that woman (or Australian man if you are Heather) down while you are working.
5. No text messages. Both my kids got an iPod touch for Christmas. Both haven’t stopped texting me ever since. This is fine, I love to hear from my kids, but small talk can be distracting when you are working. Think of the time you are spending in airplane mode as time you are making money to help put your kids through college. They will thank you for ignoring them later.
Two Bonus Airplane Mode Tips
Stop a text message from sending. Not quite a productivity tip but this one can help you. If you are sending a text message (especially a multi-media message), you can quickly switch your phone to airplane mode to stop the message from being sent. Once you switch it back off, the message will say it was undelivered. Thanks to Matt Elliott from CNET for saving us from potential embarrassment.
Queue Instagram photos. I avoid oversharing on Instagram. If you share too many photos in a row you will annoy your followers. Instead, you should queue photos for Instagram using airplane mode. Just do everything as you normally would. When you are ready, switch the phone to airplane mode, and upload the photo to Instagram. It will give you a failed message. When you switch off airplane mode the photo will still be there waiting for you to try again. Hit the round, refresh arrow and your photo will be uploaded. This is handy if you are saving a photo for #throwbackthursday, but today is Monday.
If you want to be productive this year be generous with how often you use airplane mode on your phone. It’s the next best thing to moving to Cuba.