Shut It Down

September 24, 2015

Categories: Productivity

I love my I-Phone. It’s so convenient. I can call or text a friend, check the weather, get directions, and send an email, all in just a few minutes. Almost everything I need is right there in my pocket.

But my cell phone is also distracting. I have a bad habit of checking social media or reading articles on ESPN when I should be working. I get random phone calls and texts throughout my day that distract me from what I need to be focused on.

Research has shown that task switching takes a huge hit on your productivity. When you are focused on a task, and something happens that causes you to shift your focus (e.g., phone call, text, email), it takes you awhile to get back into working on your main task. These interruptions add up throughout your day, killing your productivity.

One simple intervention I have been trying to implement is to put my phone into airplane mode during my workday. It’s a small environmental change, but it completely stops the string of interruptions coming from my phone. Fewer interruptions leads to less task switching, which in turn leads to increased productivity.

Discussion: What are the things that kill your productivity? Are all the distractions from your phone becoming a problem? What do you think about shutting it down during your workday?

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