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What Does Your 'Workbench' Look Like?

November 05 2019

dick betts Workbench1Over the weekend, I was working on a few DIY projects. Before I started, I realized that recently I have just been piling up my tools on my workbench, leaving small piles of tools in the house and around the garage. I grab the small piles of tools, carry them to my workbench and drop them, making a bigger pile.

I got to thinking about professionals like auto mechanics and folks working in a shop—all their tools are neatly organized and they know where every screwdriver, wrench and pair of pliers are located. Me? Not so much—mine are in a big pile.

My first weekend project was replacing the charging cable on my golf cart. Items needed: wire cutters, screwdrivers, ½ wrench, black electrical tape and my ratchet set. It took me 15 minutes digging in the pile to find everything I needed. I thought about the mechanic who has everything in place on a peg board and tool cabinet. He would have a 15-minute head start on my unorganized life, and the job only took 15 minutes!

How clean is your digital workbench?

So where am I going with this?

Pull out your smartphone, open it up and look at your apps. Are they neatly in order like a mechanic's tools, or are they in a pile like my tools?

This really makes a difference in productivity and is so easy to correct. You have two options, and they are both right—it's whichever one you feel works best for you:

Option One - Decide which apps you use the most and move them to the first page of apps. I personally think page one should be all productivity and the apps needed to support your career, but it's your phone. Either way, start organizing the apps so you quickly can find what you are looking for. Put your most frequently used apps where you can find them quickly.

Option Two - Build folders by category. For example, put all social media into a folder, another folder with news, maybe a shopping folder. I use a travel folder with all my hotel, airlines, rental cars, Uber, etc. in one folder. I also use a News folder which saves space.

dick betts workbench2

I have over 150 apps on my phone, which is seven pages of apps. Recently, we had a new garage door installed—and of course it has wi-fi. When I downloaded the app, it went to page seven of apps. First time I used it, I had to scan seven pages of apps looking for my garage door app. Yes, I moved it to page two!

Discharging smartphone battery myths

While we are talking apps and using your smartphone smartly, let's discuss the battery. So many myths out there about batteries and charging, so let's clean a few up:

  • Is it hard on your smartphone battery to charge overnight every night?
    Answer: NO. Today's technology and batteries are just fine charging overnight.

  • Should I discharge my battery until it's under 50% before charging?
    Answer: NO. Again, it's not hard on the battery. Plus, it's better to have a fully charged battery available.

  • Does completely draining your smartphone battery hurt battery life?
    Answer: YES. Smartphone batteries come with a chip to prevent total discharge. This still is not good, as deep drains can shorten battery life.

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at