How Long It Takes to Get Back on Track After a Distraction

"It’s important to pull yourself away from work every now and then. Breaks are one thing, but distractions are another. Breaks are focused and deliberate. Distractions catch you off guard and derail your task entirely. In fact, one study shows it takes about 25 minutes to get back into the swing of things after you’ve been interrupted.

We’ve told you how distractions can cause errors. Even after you’ve removed the interruption, you’re not working at the same capacity you were pre-distraction. In a study from the University of California Irvine, researchers shadowed workers on the job, studying their productivity. Here’s what study lead Gloria Mark told Fast Company of the findings:

You have to completely shift your thinking, it takes you a while to get into it and it takes you a while to get back and remember where you were…We found about 82 percent of all interrupted work is resumed on the same day. But here’s the bad news — it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task." Source:

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