Want to focus on the task at hand. Stow the phone. Out of sight. Out of touch. Maybe not out of earshot, but it can’t hurt.
A study published in Social Psychology has found that the mere presence of your phone may be enough to distract you. Researchers had a couple classes of statistics students participate in an experiment where all the students completed a test that measured how closely they could pay attention (from the paper: “Each row of digits was preceded by a “target number” that the subject was to circle and then proceed to cross off each occurrence of the number appearing in that row; then on to the next row with a different target number . . .” Yeah, we definitely didn’t take stats in university). Half the students had their phones out on their desk for the test (they’d been told that they had to make a note of their phone’s brand later), and the other half didn’t have their phone out. The phone-out group did much worse on the test.
Photo courtesy of flickr.