The key to productivity is doing the right things at the right time.
Studies* show It can take an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task.
That can add up to as much as 6 hours a day not doing the right things at the right time!
How do we deal with them
Step 1: Be aware of when you are being distracted.
Step 2: Have a system to organize the distractions
Do you really want to do this? Yes? continue to next step. No? Dismiss the task
Will the task take less than 30 seconds? Yes? Do it quick! No? Continue to next step
Add it to your to do list to deal with after you are finished with your current task.
*There's good news and bad news. To have a uniform comparison, we looked at all work that was interrupted and resumed on the same day. The good news is that most interrupted work was resumed on the same day -- 81.9 percent -- and it was resumed, on average, in 23 minutes and 15 seconds, which I guess is not so long.
-Gloria Mark, associate professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine