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Are smartphones at work killing productivity in the workplace?

Do you have a smartphone, and do you keep it within reach while at work?

If you answered 'yes' to these two questions, you're part of the majority of U.S. workers. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 88 percent of employees have smart phones, and 77 percent of them keep their phones within reach at work. Workers admit to using them throughout the day – 39 percent check their phone several times a day.

Employers are worried about the effect smartphones and other productivity killers have on the workplace. Over half of employers (53 percent) think their company loses between one and two hours of productivity a day because employees are distracted. According to employers, the biggest productivity killers are:

  • Cell phone/texting: 49 percent
  • The Internet: 38 percent
  • Social media: 37 percent
  • Gossip: 35 percent
  • Email: 29 percent
  • Co-workers dropping by: 24 percent
  • Smoke breaks or snack breaks: 25 percent

Feel like you're distracted at work? Maximize your productivity with these tips:

1. Create a to-do list. Writing down what you need to get done that day enables you to focus on the top tasks at hand. Block your calendar to give yourself dedicated time to get these important items completed.

2. Carve out breaks. Everyone needs a break — no one can concentrate continuously for an entire day. When you plan for a break, you may find it easier to concentrate when you're working, as you know you have a break to look forward to.

3. Pause distractions. Turn off your cell phone, and close out of your social media sites. Pause all distractions until your scheduled break time; then you can feel good about your Candy Crush winning streak or posting an album full of selfies.

Looking for science-backed ways to be more productive, or creative ways to get out of a workday rut?

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