98% of workers say that they get interrupted at least a few times every single day. And, according to health care psychologist Ulrika Leons, all those quick interruptions, especially face-to-face ones, can be really destructive for your working process.
We decided to find out why Leons believes that you should ignore your colleagues and how you can become more productive.
Why you always feel tired after work
Office work usually requires a high level of concentration on certain tasks. But this can be really hard because you’re always surrounded by your colleagues, who occasionally come by and ask you a quick question.
“What about that project?” or “How’s your son’s girlfriend doing?” The questions might be different, and not all of them will be job-related, but the result is basically the same — you lose your concentration and feel like you haven’t done anything at all during the day.
The real cost of those quick interruptions
According to Leons, if someone distracts you during your working process, it can take about 5-25 minutes for you to fully focus your attention on your task again. Besides that, it takes a lot of energy to switch between different tasks all the time. Which is why you feel exhausted by the end of the day.
There was even research done that found that interruptions can waste up to 238 minutes a day. Then you have to remember at what point you left your task and start it again — which takes another 84 minutes. And stress and fatigue cost another 50 minutes. In total, that’s 372 minutes, or 6.2 hours a day — almost the entire workday!