The surprising reason your phone reduces productivity

Ignoring your cell phone may be harder than you think.

Although cell phones are a part of our daily lives, hearing a phone notification can cause increased distraction, according to

A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance found that people doing a focus-intensive task performed poorly when they received a phone notification during the test.

Subjects were three-times more likely to make a mistake if they received a notification, even if they ignored it. Those whose concentration was broken after receiving a notification were more likely to make hasty guesses on answers to the questions.

Researchers chalk up the findings to the difficulty in multitasking. Even receiving a short phone notification can distract people for a long period of time and make it challenging to get back on track.

"Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts or mind-wandering," wrote the study researchers. "Mobile phones can disrupt attention performance even if one does not interact with the device."

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