Smartphones are great for many things. They are little computers we can fit in our pockets and help us keep in touch with friends, family, and the many on-goings around the world. But they aren't so great for your productivity. Below are three examples of how smartphones are making us inefficient.
1. Using smartphones at night makes us less productive the following day.
Many of us end our days by scrolling through social media feeds on our smartphones and begin our days in much the same way. However, recent research found that these habits are getting in the way of our sleep cycles, thus making us less productive. “Because they (smartphones) keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep," researchers said.
Additionally, smartphones emit a blue light which actually helps to energize us. This light gets in the way of your body's ability to relax.
2. Notifications galore.
Our smartphones are usually linked to our inboxes and our social media profiles. That means that every time we receive a new email, text, Whatsapp message, tweet or Facebook message, we hear a little ping on our phones. Even just hearing these notifications can distract us from whatever we happen to be working on. And, when we get distracted it takes at least a few minutes for our brains to refocus on our tasks. So, when you're working on something important turn those notifications off and put your phone in a drawer.
3. You can't detach from work.
It's important, especially for work-life balance, that you are able to get time away from work. This means that when you go home every evening, that you are able to focus your energy on family, friends and relaxing. This time to recharge is vital for your productivity. However, smartphones are making this detachment from work and coworkers a little difficult. Sometimes it's in the form of emails throughout the evening, and other times it might be because of especially chatty colleagues. Either way, it's important to give yourself some boundaries and take time away from all things work.