What’s the first thing you do as soon as you wake up?
If you’re one of the 61% of people who check their smartphone five minutes after waking up, then chances are, your productivity is at risk.
Yes, smartphones play a huge role in our daily lives. We use it for work. We use it to stay connected, to be entertained, or to be informed. We depend on it to remind us of tasks and events, check recipes for our next dinner, get tickets for the local games, and so on.
The problem is, this ubiquitous multi-purpose object is also killing your productivity. How? Read on.
Your Smartphone: How It Kills Your Productivity
1. It affects your focus
A study proves that a single alert from your smartphone can affect your focus, making you commit errors when you are doing something that requires intense concentration. And if your phone rings, you increase those chances by three times, even if you do not take the call.
You probably already know this, considering you have access to all sorts of information courtesy of your smartphone. The question is why you keep on doing this when you’re fully aware that your smartphone affects your productivity?
According to Susan Weinschenk Ph.D., dopamine is the culprit. This neurohormone used to be known as the reward or pleasure chemical. But recent studies show that dopamine makes us want to seek, which our smartphone conveniently provides.
And because your mobile makes it so easy to seek for anything you are interested in, you unconsciously create an induced dopamine loop.
Here’s an example. You’re bored. You want to talk to any of your friends who are available so you post it on Facebook. When someone replies, you feel a sense of pleasure. And because it just feels oh-so-great, you answer back.
It’s the same thing when you are searching for something in Google. When you find what you are looking for, you get that aha moment which also gives you pleasure. And that wonderful feeling goes on as you find more information about your query.
Now, try to look back to the last time you did either. How much time did you spend chatting with your Facebook friends? Or researching? Thirty minutes? That’s enough time to write up a report.
2. It reinforces procrastination
Are you using your smartphone for work? Awesome! You’ve installed all the tools you need, anyway. You have Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts to make you accessible. You have Google Docs and Drive too. You can work anytime, anywhere, right?
Not really. Because you can easily access your work anytime, chances are, you can put it off for later, and later, and later until you realize that you were not able to do anything.
3. It minimizes your sleeping time
It’s bedtime but you don’t feel sleepy, so you get your smartphone, read an ebook, play a game or chat with some friends. You manage to sleep but wake up feeling tired and sluggish. It’s your body telling you that it still needs to rest.
Sleep deprivation leads to grumpiness, inability to focus and decrease in productivity.
4. It affects your memory
Yes, the internet has changed the way we live. Almost every information is right under your fingertips. But try to think – how many times have you tried to remember something you’ve researched a day ago? Most probably, you won’t be able to recall it unless you return to the website you got that information from. After all, it’s just a Google away!
So how does your smartphone affect your memory? Because it is very handy, you can easily browse the internet with it. Doing so, as a study proves, can hamper your ability to commit new information to long-term memory.
Should you get rid of your smartphone if it’s killing your productivity? No. You just have to learn how to use it wisely. Do not depend so much on it. For remembering tasks and events, why not try a bullet journal? For writing, why not jot down on a notebook? It does not have to be expensive – a simple, spiral one will do. For communicating with friends, why not try your landline or send letters via direct mail?
Do you have suggestions on how to prevent your smartphone from killing your productivity? Please feel free to write in the comments box below. Thanks!