Even a 3-Second Distraction Can Screw You Up

I harp on blocking distraction all the time. We’re distracted all day long, email dings, text message alerts, the phone calls, the knocks on the door, and the pings from social media can get you off task so easily.

Melissa Dahl at nymag.com:

Even the teensiest distractions can seriously throw us off. One recent study found that interruptions as brief as 2.8 seconds were enough to more than double the number of errors study participants made on a given task.

This means that “it’s not just a phone call that counts as an interruption — just the ringing counts … even if all you want to do is find your phone and shut it off,”

What should you do? Carve out 60 - 90 minute distraction free work times. I shut the email program, put the phone on airplane mode, and even have a hanger on my door that is red on one side and green on the other. My coworkers get that I’m cranking on work when they see that.

What do you need to turn off, shut down, or proactively do to keep distractions from taking you out?

Rex Barrett @rexbarrett