Published: 08th January 2019
The smartphone effect: Here's how your mobile is controlling your life
Studies have revealed that productivity in organisations had increased significantly when employees had lunch and breaks together, rather than solitarily, by themselves
The ‘iPhone effect’, was a study conducted in 2014 which led to an interesting discovery — that the mere presence of a smartphone can ruin the quality of conversations. The experiment was done with two hundred participants, who were asked to either hold a mobile phone or place it close to them when they were having a conversation. Surprisingly, the researchers found at the end of the study, that the conversations were reported more fulfilling when the smartphones were not visible.
Tom Rath writes about this in his book Are You Fully Charged? He mentions another interesting experiment in his book, where it was found that the mere presence of a cell phone decreased both the span of attention and the ability to perform complex tasks in human beings. Just looking at a smartphone is bad for concentration, attention and maintaining relationships, even if the phone is on mute or switched off.
We text people across the globe, read their forwards, track them through Facebook and know what each one is up to, but unfortunately, we don’t pay attention to the person in front of us.
Rath goes on to say, that it’s not enough just being physically present in a room with someone and making eye contact with them. This results in a reduction of interpersonal skills both at work and at home. So, how do we listen more while improving the quality of our relationships and in turn increasing our productivity?
No phones during weekends: I know a few high-powered executives who practice this diligently. It’s difficult at first but those working around you will eventually get used to it. Remember that if it’s really important, they will call again, and if they don’t, well you can always call back on Monday, thanks to registered missed calls.
You can, however, arrange lots of face-to-face meetings during this time, your relationships will improve and your productivity will soar.
Studies have revealed that productivity in organisations had increased significantly when employees had lunch and breaks together, rather than solitarily, by themselves.
Practice VAK listening: Listen with your eyes, ears and heart. VAK stands for Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. In other words, when you listen and watch a person talking, observe their eye movements, quivering of their mouth, hand gestures and other subtle indicators. Listen to their voice, notice variations and also empathise with the person. The connection happens when all three are congruent. Remember that 93% of your communication is non-verbal and only 7% is verbal. So, observe body language or parallel language. Watch for what is unsaid.
Make every interaction count: Be present in the moment and mindful of the present. Hide your mobile phone and pay complete attention to whoever is in front of you. Ensure that your concentration is never sidetracked by your mobile phone. Learn to prioritise your area of focus.
Once you do that the change will be immense and immediately apparent. Now, sit back and observe your productivity levels increase and relationships zoom ahead to the next level.