A distraction about a distraction
Monday, March 26th, 2007
Lots of great stuff in this NYT article about online distractions. Some meat:
In a recent study, a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to incoming e-mail or instant messages. They strayed off to reply to other messages or browse news, sports or entertainment Web sites.
â’œI was surprised by how easily people were distracted and how long it took them to get back to the task,â’ said Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft research scientist and co-author, with Shamsi Iqbal of the University of Illinois, of a paper on the study that will be presented next month.
â’œIf itâ”s this bad at Microsoft,â’ Mr. Horvitz added, â’œit has to be bad at other companies, too.â’