Generally speaking, we all get way too much screen time nowadays, between the workstations we all spend our days in front of to the televisions we watch in the evening to the mobile devices that are never far out of reach. While plenty of people have weighed in on the subject, some of the most interesting insights come from scholarly research: the more notifications a person gets, the more their productivity suffers.
The University of California at Irvine recently released some research that demonstrated that each time someone received a notification, it would take another 23 entire minutes to return to the task that the notification interrupted. Making this worse, people check their mobile devices once every 47 seconds—totaling 600 times over the typical eight-hour workday.
Compounding on this, receiving so many notifications and being interrupted so many times tends to lead to excessive errors made and increased stress amongst a workforce.
What Can Be Done?
With the rise in remote work as of late, notifications have only risen in prevalence, so it only makes sense to do whatever you can to manage them as effectively as possible. Fortunately, the two largest smartphone developers—Apple and Google—have taken steps to help shave down the number of interruptions that users have to deal with. Google offers the Digital Wellbeing tool through Android, whereas Apple offers Screen Time to help users keep track of their usage of their device… somewhat ironically, by sending them an additional notification alerting them, while also allowing timeframes and other limits to be set on these notifications.
There are also hardware solutions meant to assist with this excessive screen time, as well. There’s been a resurgence in the mobile device market for options that are much closer to the “dumbphones” around in the ‘90s and ‘aughts. One, called The Light Phone, scales the phone’s capabilities back to simple calls and texts. While effective for some, others are opposed to such a significant downgrade in their mobile device.
Alternatively, app developers have developed programs committed to promoting “deep work”—including the likes of Medium, Seque, Shift, and Asana—meant to help eliminate the stress of the workplace and assist in schedule management.
Are you guilty of looking at your phone too much throughout the workday? How much do you feel it has hurt your productivity over time? Share your thoughts in the comments, and reach out to us directly for more help implementing the solutions you need. Call 717-295-7630 today.