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Researchers: Typical Workers Get Interrupted Every 11 Minutes

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Apparently, employees are being bombarded with distractions. The average office workers gets interrupted every 11 minutes, that according to researchers with an American office furniture company.

Researchers say it's all about flow, and apparently it's a state that few workers can sustain. Cognitively, office workers are dealing with more information being thrown at them at a faster pace.

So, setting out to accomplish more things in a shorter amount of time just means you have to multi-task, right? That may not be the best option either. The action of multi-tasking is said to reduce "cognitive capability" and is compared to a person losing a night's sleep.

According to scientists, the typical day for students and workers have them switching tasks every three minutes! Brief interruptions, even of just a few seconds, generally cause workers to make twice as many mistakes. And after a break of flow, employees take an average of 23 minutes to get back on task, because the action requires more mental effort.

It seems most people can only maintain sustained focus, the act of giving attention to a task while filtering out or ignoring extraneous information, for about 45 minutes.

The bottom line - don't beat yourself up for being easily distracted. By nature humans react to certain stimuli.

So, what can you do to better sustain focus? The suggestions may be harder for some than others. The research suggests that you simply limit the amount of stimuli around you. This can be done by --

  • turning messages on your phone off
  • turning your email reminders off
  • reducing  ambient noise around you

Research by the company found that 98-percent of highly engaged employees were able to concentrate easily at work, and 95-percent are able to work in teams without being disrupted. The idea is to create an environment where you can focus on your work. Good luck!

At home or work, what one distraction do you hate most? Let us know by commenting below.

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