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Hide your phone when you try to work

I read a New York Times article recently, which I sent to all my staff as well, about research from the Association of Consumer Research.  They found that the mere presence of a phone close to you, even if it is switched off, leads to what they call “brain drain”.  They quoted an assistant Professor in the marketing department by saying that people are automatically drawn towards their phone even if it is switched off.

They say the best thing to do, to stop this distraction, is to lock it in a drawer or ideally leave it in another room, but one way or another you must make sure that your phone is out of your sight.  People who have set or allowed notifications on their phone are making even a bigger mistake because beeps and bright lights of flashing notices distract them the whole time.  Research shows it can take you up to half an hour before you get back to resuming the task you were busy with after being interrupted.  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 07-Jan-19 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Ashleigh  said:
on Friday 08-Feb-19 08:44 AM
This is too true. It is very distracting for some. For me I am not really such a phone person. I will check my messages / notifications during my break times or if I have a chance to.

Cornelie  said:
on Tuesday 05-Feb-19 12:18 PM
Very true a person cannot concentrate if your phone is going off all the time with some sort of notifications from apps etc let alone if you receive a disturbing sms from someone rather deal it with when you home.

Tersia  said:
on Tuesday 05-Feb-19 07:24 AM
This is very accurate. I know of a company where the staff's phones actually gets taken away from them and only again at lunch and after work they will get their phones back. I think you will always in the back of your mind think of what notifications you might get today, someone needing help, you bank notifications, notification of the parcel you ordered, ect.

Liz  said:
on Monday 04-Feb-19 05:06 PM
This is definitely true and it feels like the urge to check one's phone is intensified when it is off and in the vicinity as one is thinking of all the notifications you might be getting. It is disappointing that we have become so dependent on our cellphones and the need for social media.

Shristi  said:
on Sunday 03-Feb-19 05:30 PM
I totally agree with this post. I try and keep my phone out of my sight so I am not distracted by it.

Zindy  said:
on Thursday 31-Jan-19 08:49 AM
This is true, Phones can be a distraction depending on your job. Some people that are on the road depend on there phones for Maps and calling clients ect but when you are stationed at a desk and no use for your phone at the time then mute the phone and turn off notifications until you are ready to check yourself.

Daniella  said:
on Wednesday 30-Jan-19 10:34 AM
My phone never really distracts me, just because I'm not really a phone person I always take forever to respond to messages and I hardly notice my notifications. however i can see why leaving it in another room would be helpful

Lucretia  said:
on Friday 25-Jan-19 08:55 AM
I try to keep my phone away when I am working because yes the distraction is a problem. I have now even gone back to bringing a book to work so that during lunch i can read a proper book again and get my eyes off the computer / phone completely. It feels so good to read books and not me old fashioned but turning pages is blissful when reading ;-)

Thabitha  said:
on Thursday 24-Jan-19 09:18 AM
When my phone is not around me I even forgot that I own one addiction is killing us.

Prishani  said:
on Thursday 24-Jan-19 09:10 AM
I always knew that this was true! But it is really difficult once you have formed the habit of working with your phone at close range!

Helen  said:
on Monday 21-Jan-19 07:53 AM
We defiantly should hide our phones when we work, it is the biggest distraction of our concentration and also causing making mistakes too.
I would say working or studying time should be the time when we forget about our phones completely!

Natasha  said:
on Thursday 17-Jan-19 03:03 PM
I think it does distract you but what if you have an emergency and they try to get hold of you on your phone then what then what if they dont have your work number. That is another thing to think of

Jolene   said:
on Wednesday 16-Jan-19 09:27 AM
I have to agree, your phone can definitely affect your productivity and notifications are distracting. People are addicted to theirs phones and to social media but cellphones does make life so much easier in so many ways.

Sinead  said:
on Monday 14-Jan-19 11:09 AM
I agree to an extent. Phones are a distraction to most people but not all.

I am someone who can look at my phone and not actually do anything on it. For example, I don' t need my phone and if it is during work hours, it is work related. If it is anything personal, I would possibly see it but leave it for my free-time. And even then I'm very bad at replying. I don't like spending much time on my phone.

If you are someone who is easily distracted, then call a spade a spade and don't blame it on anything else.

I recently took my phone in for repairs and I haven't downloaded even half the amount of apps I had on the old phone. This past weekend, I must have checked my phone twice and that was because the battery was dying and it sent a notification.

Alexis  said:
on Friday 11-Jan-19 10:34 AM
I think it depends on what you do and the industry you are in as to whether or not you need your phone by you 24/7. However, in this situation of not needing it, then yes, it is best to put it away as one will always be tempted to take a look....

Melissa van Tellingen   said:
on Friday 11-Jan-19 08:25 AM
I agree completely with this blog. We went on holiday this past December to Vaalwater. We were in the middle if the bush with no reception. It was GREAT! I actually didn't worry about anything in social media and enjoyed the silence. I also agree with the fact that one can get so much done if you put your phone in your drawer or leave it in your handbag when you want to get stuff done. Its an unnecessary distraction at all times.

Sarah  said:
on Friday 11-Jan-19 08:04 AM
I agree, distractions are our biggest problem during work.

Brenda Du Toit   said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 02:38 PM
I think it's a good idea to hide your phone when you at work.If your phone is on silence you can get more done.

Jessica M  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 02:37 PM
Well I must say that this actually makes some sense. But on another hand it's the same as working on a computer with internet access (to all your social media sites). Also honestly for me, if I am bored and have nothing to do then obviously the phone is the next best thing to pass time. But when you are swamped with work then you not even interested in checking anything unless it is important. Well that is me.

Jadine Richards  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 02:01 PM
I agree that having the phone around is definitely a distraction however life has evolved to a point where ones phone is just as crucial to work as a computer is. If your day allows for you to be disconnected from the phone for a few hours then I see how it would dramatically increas focus and productivity.

Michelle D  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 12:43 PM
Social media is definitely a distraction when you're trying to get stuff done! I can't, however, discredit how fantastic cellphones are in other respects. They allow us to maintain contact with people living millions of miles away and have even become intrinsic to our work. I use my cellphone for work at least once a day, whether it be checking emails or my calendar or contacting the office. I think cellphones are way more beneficial than detrimental to our work provided they are used responsibly.

brumilde  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 12:29 PM
Your phone should be muted! its not only disrupting your work but the people around you have to sit and listen to barbie girl playing while they are trying to work

Ashleigh  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 09:17 AM
Social Media is a problem and an addiction. I have been really thinking about giving that up and then your phone is not the problem anymore.

Zandelee  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 08:32 AM
In a video I once watched, it showed how people often prefer to be on their phones before meetings rather than to speak to their colleagues about for example how their weekend was ect. It was also said that by just holding your phone in your hand while you are speaking to another person can often create the impression to the other person that you are not interested in the conversation with them. For this reason I believe that cell phones leads to people being less productive and not being able to form relationships outside their phones.

Melissa  said:
on Thursday 10-Jan-19 07:25 AM
I think it's a good idea to hide your phone when you are trying to work, in that way you will get so many things done at once. The other alternative is to put your phone on silent so that you can't hear it go off when messages are coming through

Megan  said:
on Wednesday 09-Jan-19 09:39 AM
Locking your phone away or leaving it in another room reminds me of a time when you were being punished for having it at school or dinners, the answer is self discipline. Can't live with a phone, can't live without it.

Joyce  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jan-19 05:06 PM
I think lot of young and old people are addicted to their phones, and I think the love of being busy on the phone stopping to do important things can sometimes cause problems

Nikita  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jan-19 04:26 PM
I think that children should not be allowed to have or use cell phones at all. However with this day and age I am not sure it is possible. I do find that social media is a distraction and makes me check my phone more than I should.

courtney  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jan-19 12:11 PM
I don't have any notification "pop-ups" on my phone. It's very true, once you see there is something on your phone then you immediately grab your phone. The self discipline must come out then. It's difficult, our children are growing up with Technology and Social Media. It;s just gonna get worse.

Angelique Jurgens  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jan-19 10:23 AM
Couldn't agree more. I gave up social media for my new years resolution and I find that I am still drawn to my phone. However, far less than usual. I think one really does need to hide their phone to avoid the distraction. I am looking forward in seeing how productive I am social-media free!

Fikile  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jan-19 08:45 AM
I have to say i think having a phone helps a lot of people the only distraction is all the social medias and more, people have different ways of using their phones and sometimes it would get them into trouble.

Bianca  said:
on Tuesday 08-Jan-19 07:43 AM
France has banned all children under the age of 15 from using their phones, tablets or smartwatches at any point during school day. They say that the government is concerned that teenagers are too distracted by their devices, calling it "a law for the 21st century" and i completely agree, both my children have strict times that they are allowed to use either phone or tablet and i monitor what they do at least once a week

Victoria  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 04:49 PM
Our cellphones are a huge distraction in our lives, stop productivity and stopping you from being present in the moment. Phones definitely affect everyone in the work environment even at home, it can distract you from actually speaking to your family member's and spending time with them, instead we all sit on our phones.

Dune  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 10:25 AM
Besides smoking, drugs and alcohol this is probably one of the top addictions. I think ever ones new year resolution should be to stay off of their phones and a little less social media, I have contemplated even going as far as deleting my Facebook page, this is the only social media account I have. It is a terrible distraction, back in the day kids would be playing outside in the mud, running around etc, but now, they would rather sit in their rooms taking photos trying to see who has the sexiest pout!

Angelica Canosa  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 10:24 AM
Phones can be distracting and prevent us from being productive. I agree with this article.It is important to eliminate the temptation, by locking it away, before it interferes with work.

Michelle Smillie  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 09:55 AM
True point, distractions are our biggest road block in being productive.

Bianca N  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 08:58 AM
I agree having your phone with you while you work causes distraction. The need to constantly check your messages or social media feeds slows down your productivity.

Nicolle  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 08:44 AM
It would appear as if the hype surrounding social media and the draw to it, is being addressed by many individuals. It would seem as if people are endeavouring to purge themselves from the habit and what has become an addiction in order to "survive". I foresee a cleanse in the near future.

Mathilda Du Preez  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 08:37 AM
In 2014 or 2015 I read an article regarding students using mobile phones when they are studying.
They did a study with 20 students, 10 of those students had their phones taken during lectures and when they were studying and the other 10 continued as normal.
The students who did not have their phones test scores increased by 6%.
I totally agree that phones should be locked away when you need to study.

david  said:
on Monday 07-Jan-19 07:08 AM
this last december i turned my phone off for 2 weeks.
absolute heaven.
had to ask a lot of people the time at first, but eventually figured the sun's position out.
this year i am off all social media and messaging platforms.
if you want to contact me, phone or send an sms...


Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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