4 Minutes

I get interrupted a lot at work—today I decided to time it and it’s not half as bad as I thought. On average, I get bothered every four minutes. Put my head down, read a page for a while then always in the middle of a paragraph, a sentence, a thought someone appears at my desk talking to me. It’s not really my job to be talked to, or talk, so it makes fitting in the work itself a bit harder. Sometimes people stand in the door of my office, hovering, and I don’t notice them until they make a sound. Other times they come in gabbing. They want me to help with things, or answer questions, and seeing as I am so easily distracted I have a hard time remembering where I was before the interruption. Sometimes I read the same paragraph three times with no apparent memory of having read it. But four whole minutes between interruptions! Just imagine all that can be accomplished in four minutes. I could be feigning copyediting page proofs for work and as I move my red pencil along the lines I could come up with a brilliant idea for the Next Great American Novel. Or short story. Or sentence. I’m not picky.

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2 thoughts on “4 Minutes

  1. Karen Lee Field June 27, 2006 / 11:30 pm

    That’s a lot of distractions, and a lot of minutes. It’s a wonder you get anything done at all. I hate distractions. The biggest one for me is the internet.

  2. slynne June 28, 2006 / 5:50 pm

    they did a study, and research shows that people take at least eleven minutes to get back on task after an interruption. If you get it every four, then you are one great worker, really, to get even one sentance copy edited…

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