Where you keep your phone during work can have a major effect on your productivity, according to a recent study. Especially if it’s out where you can see it. And even if it’s off.
Researchers tested people’s cognitive abilities while their phones were in different places . . . in their pocket, face-down in front of them, or in another room. And their phone was on mute in all three scenarios.
They performed best when their phone was in another room where they couldn’t see it. And they did the worst when their phone was right in front of them. Which makes sense. The effect was similar to how you’d perform if you didn’t get enough sleep.
But the weird part is it still affected them even when they did the experiment with their phone OFF.
Here’s the science behind why that’s the case . . .
Basically, your brain knows your phone is a really powerful tool that you use all the time. So it’s TRAINED to pay attention to it. And even the act of ignoring it uses up some of your brain power.
So if you really need to focus on something, you should leave your phone in another room or in your car, so your brain knows you can’t access it. Just turning it off or leaving it in your bag isn’t enough.
(Harvard Business Review)