By | Krista Mashore | Krista Mashore
We live in a world of constant distraction! You used to be able to close your door for some peace so you could concentrate. But nowadays — unless you bury your cell phone in the backyard — it’s hard to escape the constant distraction of alerts, emails and texts.
Cell phones are the most common form of distraction, then comes the internet and social media. Most of us have learned to be disciplined and avoid those obvious distractions while working. But what about the distractions we create for ourselves, thinking they are actions that are necessary for our success? These “necessary” distractions, like any other, cost you a lot more than you think.
“Necessary” distractions cost you time
Researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that after you’ve been distracted, it takes 23 minutes to re-focus on what you were doing again. I had trouble believing this at first. Could it really take that long? But study after study says the same thing. That’s why many people feel like they’re always busy but never able to get anything done. Interrupting what you’re doing for 30 seconds to answer a team member’s question may not seem like a big deal. But in reality, you haven’t just lost 30 seconds. You’ve lost 30 seconds plus the 23 minutes it will take you to get back on track. So, if you answer 3 “quick questions” every hour, you’ve blown the whole day!