In order to find out how smartphone notifications influence our productivity we asked a subject to accomplish a measurable task in the following situations:
Case A: Without notifications at all, just a simple phone.
Case B: With all notifications from his smartphone ON.(Facebook, personal email, work email, other social platforms, etc..)
The TASK was to introduce a printed list of 150 contacts details (Name, Surname, University, Unique serial number) in electronic format.
The subject was judged by the following criteria:
1. Time needed to finish the task
2. The number of mistakes made.
The RESULTS were surprising:
Case A: All Notifications OFF
-time to introduce contacts: 50 minutes.
-mistakes made: 10 and 2 contacts missed.
Case B: Notification ON (Facebook, Email, Foursquare and some news applications)
-time to introduce contacts: 75 minutes.
-mistakes made: 43 and 13 contacts missed.
Note: The subject mentioned that he didn’t felt aggressed by notifications but he felt the work difference in the two cases.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Our experiment pointed out that smartphone notifications increase the time to complete a task by 50% and drastically reduce the quality of your work. The number of mistakes with notifications ON is 5 times higher than the number with notifications OFF. This is a huge negative influence for the work quality.
We recommend checking your notifications and emails maximum 2 times a day, for example at 12:00 and 16:00. Tell everybody you adopted this method in order to increase work productivity, they will understand. Instruct them to call you only for urgent matters. It will visible increase your productivity and you still will not miss anything.
You can also save energy and make the planet a better place by using this GREEN method; your smartphone’s battery will last longer with data activated only two times a day, when you really need it. Just push a button and select data traffic OFF until you take a break and verify what your friends are doing.
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