Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Texting or using the phone, in general, is a huge distraction when you have to get things done.
The Harvard Business Review says that even just the mere “buzz” or vibration of an incoming text or phone call can make you less productive.
This study done by researchers at Florida State University discovered that people’s performance on a cognitive task was “significantly worse” when their phone buzzed or rang than when it’s on silent.
The experiment involved two parts: First, researchers asked participants to complete an exercise wherein they had to press a button every time a number flashed onscreen. In the second part of the study, the researchers called or texted some of the participants to see how they will perform with distraction.
The people who received a call or text during the experiment but did not pick up their phone made 28% more errors compared to the first part. On the other hand, those who were called or texted but didn’t look at their phone made 23 percent more errors.
It shows that having your phone nearby, even if it’s just on vibrate, and even if you don’t pick it up decreases productivity. The study also claimed that the distraction level is comparable to the distractions of texting or talking on the phone while driving.
The researchers are quite unsure of what about a buzzing phone decreases productivity, but they link it to the mind wandering off. Instead of focusing on a task, you wonder who tried to reach you and why. Another culprit is prospective memory or knowing you need to do something in the future—like return a message or a call.
So keeping your phone on vibrate, even if it’s out of sight, won’t help you concentrate. Not unless you put it on it silent or keep it out of sight.[Business Insider]
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