Just knowing it’s there is a distraction.  That cell phone –even when it turned off – is gnawing on your concentration.

According to Men’s Health Magazine, a group of University of Texas researchers had smart phone users complete tasks with their phones nearby.  The test was to see if the job was compromised by the presence of the phone.  The tasks required the participants’ full attention, and researchers had them place their silenced phone either face down on the desk, in their pocket or bag, or in another room entirely.

Given the culture of the day you might say –obviously, those who had their phone out of the room did significantly better than those with the phone on their desk and you would be absolutely right.  Those with their phones in their pocket or bag did slightly better than those with the phone on the desk!

Researchers say as the phones became more noticeable, study participants’ attention capacity decreases. Here’s what’s interesting as study authors found that your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smart phone, but that the process of requiring yourself to not think about about the phone uses up some of the brain’s “bandwidth”  if you will.  In other words, trying to not think about something –smart phones or anything else- is a brain drain! (Men’s Health)