Sometimes it is the littlest things that have the biggest impact. According to a new study, even a three second interruption in your work can double your chances of making an error. So you may want to think twice about having noise alerts for your cell and email, because they may be ruining your career.
Associate professor of psychology Erik Altman, lead researcher for this study from Michigan State University, said the reason “is that the participants had to shift their attention from one task to another. Even momentary interruptions can seem jarring when they occur during a process that takes considerable thought.”
“What this means is that our health and safety is, on some level, contingent on whether the people looking after it have been interrupted,” Altman continued. ” … ensuing errors can be disastrous for professionals such as airplane mechanics and emergency room doctors.”
The researchers suggest a simple solution: Turning your phone off. But as we all know, that isn’t easy as it sounds. Still, consider doing it for a few hours — and if you are a pilot or a surgeon please do it!
Do you constantly feel interrupted at work? Tell us about it in the comments!
Photo courtesy of Hem Ligheter