Shock! Distractions are a very real issue in the workplace, costing U.S. businesses alone up to $650 billion per year.

Less well known, however, is the impact such distractions have on the individual. Studies over the last decade reveal that not only are we becoming more distracted in the wake of better internet speeds, social media, and smartphones, but we’re actually becoming more stupid.

The most common issue is multitasking, and while we may think that a scroll through Instagram or chat with our colleague across the room while working on a single task wouldn’t be classified as such, our brains beg to differ.

An interesting experiment by Carnegie Mellon University found that something as simple as seeing a notification pop up on their phone could distract subjects from their tasks for an average of 25 minutes. In comparison, those who knew a distraction might come, and yet didn’t face one, actually scored higher in testing than those who weren’t concerned with interruptions at all. 43% higher.

What that suggests is that rather than avoiding distractions altogether, to truly be effective we must prepare for, and indeed factor them into our daily activity.

The key term is organisation, and the tips for achieving it come from OnStride Financial in the infographic below.

Click for a larger version.

StayingFocused

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