Do you ever get distracted at work? We do too, and we think we have the equation to help you work out how much time you waste.
(…and yes, if you’re reading this at work, we realise we're not exactly helping the problem.)
First, make an estimate on how many times you are distracted during an average work day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. Then you have the answer of how many minutes you lose being distracted.
That's according to Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine. She found it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after an interruption.
In short, that 30 second distraction isn’t a distraction, it’s a large amount of your day.
Mark also says that these distractions don’t just hurt productivity, they also affect our well-being.
Back in 2015 she wrote in The New York Times:
Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity
And if you think you’re the exception, that you don’t get distracted and can multitask, you’re wrong.
Studiesshowthat focusing on a single tasks is the most effective way of getting work done and that distraction inhibit workers across the board.
In short, if you want to work productively, focus on the task in hand and eliminate distractions wherever possible.