Monday, August 22, 2011

Distractions - More Annoying Than You Think

The Dish points me towards an explanation of why we're dissatisfied at work, quoting Casey Schwartz writing about Cathy Davidson's Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn:
We've been trained to assume that working hard means focusing on a single task to completion, then doing it again. But, says Davidson, "the new workplace requires different forms of attention than the workplace we were trained for."
The result is that we feel anxious and guilty, convinced we’re not getting enough done, not achieving an honest day’s work... As Davidson puts it, "We’ve inherited a sense of efficiency modeled on attention that is never pulled off track."
But these days, according to research, "the contemporary worker switches tasks an average of once every three minutes."
I know that after a typical day, in addition to feeling exhausted, sympathize with this view. It's probably what leads people in my generation or younger to start screening their phone calls, waiting to answer emails, etc.

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