We have all become like it or not—multitaskers. How many times a day are we interrupted by cell phones, e-mails, IMs, etc.? Thompson interviews some social scientists who have completed some studies on how we handle multitasking in the workplace.
Some interesting observations from these studies:
- It takes on an average 25 minutes to return to the original task
- Interruptions have become our work
- Our jobs are “interruption driven”
- We spend an average of 11 minutes on a project before interruption occurs
- Each 11 minute session is divided into several 3 minute smaller tasks
- We are so busy keeping an eye on everything, we can never focus on anything
- Multiple computer monitors (up to three)
- Larger monitors (45 inch!)
- “to do” lists in Word
My solution was a mini whiteboard that I kept on my desk like an easel. I had my “to do” list there with the tasks prioritized. This way I could always see my list and try to keep focused. It’s low-tech, but it works.
Because I am easily bored, I enjoy being interrupted. I wouldn’t want to work any other way.