Cell phones have become an indispensable presence in our daily lives.
Just think that there are around 8 billion people worldwide and over 15 billion cell phones!
Technology has undoubtedly improved our lives, but phone distractions are one of its negative aspects.
How many times have you been distracted by the phone in the workplace? Not to mention the risk of texting while driving, one of the most dangerous smartphone usage.
It’s difficult to be able to focus on our work and be productive if we keep looking at notifications, replying to messages, or scrolling through social media.
Research indicates we check our smartphones an average of 352 times a day!
But luckily, there’s a solution: in this blog post, I’ll talk about the impact of mobile in our lives, what are the most common phone distractions in the workplace, and how to get rid of them.
So hang tight; together, we’re about to regain control of our focus and productivity.
- Phones can take our attention away from important tasks with alerts and notifications. They signal our brains to look at them instead of concentrating on the job we’re doing.
- Every time we get distracted by our phone, it takes around 23 minutes to get focused again. Trying to do many things simultaneously (multitasking), like checking emails while talking to someone, means we don’t give full attention to either thing.
- To keep our minds sharp and not let phones control us, we should remove apps that distract us too much, turn off unnecessary notifications, put our phones far away when working, use apps that help us stay focused, and plan times when we won’t let distractions in.
What is phone distraction?
Cell phone distraction happens when our mobile phones grab our attention away from what we’re doing.
They are one of the biggest time wasters at work and contribute to reducing our productivity levels.
It could be a text message, an email notice, or just the urge to check social media.
These attention-grabbing interruptions take us out of “the zone,” and suddenly, we’re not focusing on work or our conversation.
Imagine this: you sit down to finish a big project.
Your phone is next to you. It lights up and buzzes – someone liked your photo online!
You pick it up just for a second.. but that second turns into minutes scrolling through feeds.
Now, you’ve lost track of where you were in your work.
Now, let’s look at how these devices impact our ability to stick with one task at a time.
How does the phone affect distraction?
Mobile distractions are probably the most common, especially workplace distractions.
On average, employees spend about an hour a day using their phones, leading to a potential waste of up to 2 hours of work per day.
Every buzz, beep, or flash of light from your cell phone signals your brain to look away from what you’re doing to non-work-related activities.
It’s like having a tiny person waving their hands and shouting for notice—it’s hard to ignore!
Your mind gets busy thinking about who might be texting you or what news alert just popped up.
Without realizing it, the time spent swiping through social media or watching videos adds up quickly and eats into periods where you could be productive at work or focused on other things.
And when we try to multitask—maybe answering emails while chiming in on a group chat—we’re not giving full attention to either activity, leading us to make mistakes or miss out on vital information.
How do I get rid of phone distractions?
If you want to improve your focus and productivity, you must minimize cell phone distractions at work.
Here are my actionable tips to do it and increase your performance.
Remove or Replace Apps
Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and all similar apps are a big source of distraction.
And most of the time, you don’t need them.
These apps are just too tempting and can pull you away from your productive work.
By deleting or swapping these out for less distracting ones, you create a quieter space and reduce the impact of distractions due to cell phone use.
If an app constantly sends notifications or encourages endless scrolling, it might be time to let it go.
It’s like clearing out noisy clutter from your desk; when it’s gone, you can settle into your tasks better.
In my case, I also found it very useful to use Android blocker apps, which help you develop the discipline necessary to concentrate and not fall into the temptation of wasting precious time using your cell phone.
Turn Off Notifications
After removing or replacing distracting apps, the next step is to turn off notifications.
App notifications constantly grab our attention, leading to frequent mobile phone distractions.
By turning them off, you can minimize these interruptions and regain focus.
This strategy has also helped me reduce my stress levels, as I am not pressured to answer my phone or look at notifications and waste time.
It seems a simple action, but it can significantly improve productivity and help maintain a more focused work environment.
It’s an effective way to mitigate the negative impact of phone distractions during work hours, ultimately promoting better concentration and improved work performance.
Keep Your Phone Out of Reach
Let me guess: your phone is always next to you, available at all times, right?
Not many people ( me included) have the ability to control the impulse to not check their mobile devices, especially in the workplace.
So, how do we fix this problem?
Stay away from it as much as possible.
When I keep my phone out of reach while working, I find it easier to focus without the constant temptation to check notifications.
Leaving my phone in another room reduces my subconscious anxiety and improves my productivity because I don’t constantly worry about having to reply to messages or check notifications.
An alternative is to set your smartphone to Do Not Disturb Mode and check it only after a certain period of time, such as 1-2 hours; this will improve your ability to focus and work much better.
Use focus apps to maximize productivity
A recent study showed employees spend more than 33% of their workdays using their cell phones, which emphasizes how the impact of smartphones can be dangerous for our productivity.
Focus apps can help you take back control of your time and increase your attention span by helping you stay on track and minimize distractions.
These apps utilize techniques like Freedom to help you break work into manageable intervals with brief breaks in between or help you block websites or useless apps.
This strategy keeps your mind fresh and focused, increasing efficiency and improving cognitive performance throughout the day.
By incorporating focus apps into your daily routine, you can combat phone distractions and maintain a higher concentration level on your tasks.
Schedule Distraction-Free Time
To reduce your phone usage, I suggest you schedule a specific time when you’re super focused and no one can interrupt you.
For instance, using the Pomodoro Technique, you can set 25 minutes of mindfulness and then a quick break ( typically 5 minutes).
Blocking distracting apps and leveraging Do Not Disturb (DND) modes during working hours can also help create a focused environment.
Remember that scheduling these distraction-free times is crucial for maintaining concentration and enhancing overall cognitive performance.
Think about the consequences
Have you ever considered the impact of smartphone distractions?
Increased stress, procrastination, fear of missing out on important notifications, and reduced focus are just some of the common effects.
It takes about 23 minutes to regain concentration after each distraction.
Most of the time, we spend more time trying to focus back than actually working.
And if you can’t work hard and focus, who will achieve your goals? Nobody.
Every time I’m tempted to get distracted, look at my phone or waste time, I think about how my goals are getting further and further away.
You have to be stronger than these temptations and stay focused on your goals if you really want to achieve results.
There is a strong relationship between mobile usage and decreased productivity.
This is because, unfortunately, we are all more or less dependent on the telephone, which increasingly lowers our attention span.
But you can significantly improve your productivity by implementing simple steps like turning off notifications, using focus apps, and thinking about the consequences.
The impact of these methods cannot be overstated; they can lead to better quality work and a more focused mindset throughout the day.
Remember, small changes in our phone habits can significantly improve our ability to concentrate and produce high-quality work.
Let’s get rid of our phone distractions for a more productive and focused workday!