Monday, January 15, 2024


One of the tips that Amantha Imber shares in her HBR article "What Super Productive People Do Differently" resonated quite well with me.

Amantha says 'Nudge your way to better behavior.'

If you’re trying to set better work habits, small behavioral hacks can lead to the biggest payoffs. If what is closest to your bed before you sleep is the book and not the phone, you'll be more likely to read.

Recently, while reading the book- 'The Art of Bitfullness' recently, I came across an eye-opening study.

An experiment was conducted with 800 smartphone users by Professor Adrian Ward from University of Texas.

People were randomly divided into groups where one group had their phones on their desks, face down. Another group had to keep their phones in their pockets or bags, but out of sight. The third group of people were asked to leave their phones in another room during the tests.

In all three groups, some were asked to turn off their phones.

The participants were then given tasks that needed cognitive effort.

Even though all participants reported giving their full focus and attention to the task at hand, the participants whose phones were in the other room significantly outperformed those whose smartphones were on them.

It didn't even matter if those who had their phones had turned them off. If the phones near or on them, their capacities diminished.

Prof. Ward said "We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, the participants' available cognitive capacity decreases. Your conscious mind isn't thinking about your smartphone, but that process-the process of requiring yourself to not think about something-uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It's a brain drain."

Inspired by this, I tried distancing myself physically from my phone during deep work. It works, and astonishingly well at that.

The invisible lines of influence are often the strongest. A nudge in the right direction can alter your productivity journey.

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