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Rahny Taylor's Blog

Why Your Coworkers Are Making You Dumber!

I don't know about you, but I feel like there's 2 types of people at work... those who have work to do and those who don't!  

I'm sure you're less socially awkward than I am, but I'm the guy at work that's asking people (like my co-worker Wes) to please stop talking, at least to me because I have to work, and everytime I get interrupted I have to try and figure out what I was just doing!

Now I've got scientific proof that coworkers are making you DUMBER!  
According to a study, every time your coworkers talk to you and distract you, you immediately become 20% STUPIDER.
Not permanently, of course, but as long as you're distracted, you're dumber.
A separate study found the average officer worker only gets 11 minutes of work done between interruptions . . . and it can take almost half an hour to fully focus again after you're interrupted.
Based on that math, you may NEVER be able to get back to a place of full productivity.  At least I think that's the math.  I'm at least 20% dumber right now.
The researchers did come up with a good takeaway for us though!  If you tell yourself you're DEFINITELY going to be interrupted at any moment, it actually helps you focus and improves your productivity.

Personally I would divide the workplace in to 2 parts.  

1. The outside ring of individual offices on the upper level - for people who have task oriented jobs like me.  Meaning no matter what you have a list of things that has to get done, once they're done you can leave, but until then you're stuck.

2. The inner open area below the upper ring - for people who have a time oriented job (like my coworker Wes who I referred to above) these people have to be at work from ___ to ___, meaning even if they have nothing to do they can't leave.  These are the people that tend to annoy me at work the most!  When you're in a meeting they just want to shoot the breeze because they have to be at work for another 5 hours so they don't care what they're doing, so long as it's not sitting at their desk!

What would you do if you were in charge?

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05/09/2013 6:37AM
Why Your Co-Workers Are Making You Dumber!
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