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Of course you’re smart – how do you think you got to where you are? Yet, is it possible you’re actually even more capable, but that something is holding you back?
The answer, of course, is yes.
In a 2017 study at the University of Texas – Austin subjects were asked to do tasks requiring high concentration – like the things you do – and they found as the title of the report states, “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity.”
That is to say, just having your smartphone readily available – on your desk, say, or in your pocket – makes you dumber even if the phone is turned off! There are a number of reasons for that, such as your expectation of being interrupted by a call, text or email, as well as the extra mental effort it takes to avoid thinking about the smartphone.
A study by the University of Utah (and it isn’t alone in its finding) showed that use of your phone while driving is the safety equivalent of driving drunk. And that isn’t ameliorated by using hands-free, because the issue is what using the phone does to your focus and attention.
If you want to perform at your best – and that includes being the greatest leader you can be – you’ll have put that thing away sometimes. For example, I coach leaders who are mentoring their direct reports to turn smartphones all the way off and put them out of sight. Without that action mentoring quality will degrade and both leadership and followership will suffer.
So, if you want the best results, ditch the phone.
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