Having your smartphone nearby significantly lowers your cognitive capacity — a.k.a., how well your brain holds and processes information — according to new research. This holds true even if your phone is off! In the study, participants took a series of tests that required full concentration. Before doing so, they were instructed to put their phone in another room, on the desk facedown, or in their pocket or purse. Those who put their phones in another room did significantly better on the test than those whose phones were closer. The researchers hypothesize that when your phone is nearby, your brain is actively working on not picking it up even if you’re not aware of it. In other words, the mere presence of a smartphone in close proximity is distracting. Here are tips to improve our behavior. Put your smartphone regularly in another room. Use a desktop computer for emails and online research, a landline for calls, and a good old-fashioned watch or clock for telling time. Avoid over using your smartphone!
“ … the mere presence of one’s own smartphone may occupy limited-capacity cognitive resources, thereby leaving fewer resources available for other tasks and undercutting cognitive performance”. Adrian F. Ward et alia