May 01, 2015

Do Not Disturb: Dealing With Interruptions

Allison C. Shields

Interruptions are enormous time wasters that represent huge productivity losses. Studies have shown that it can take more than 25 minutes, on average, to resume a task after being interrupted, and after resuming complex tasks, such as those performed by most lawyers daily, it can take an additional 15 minutes to return to the level of focus or concentration as before the interruption. Further, a September 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal linked frequent interruptions to higher rates of exhaustion, stress-induced ailments, and a doubling of error rates. Constant interruptions can even mimic the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

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