The Real Cost of Task Switching? STRESS

We’ve all been there. You’ve made your coffee, checked your email, scanned the news and now you’re ready to start working. You’re in the zone and can feel the cogs of creativity churning away. You are a powerhouse of efficiency.

Your inbox pings with a non-time sensitive message and you respond with every intention of getting right back to work. Next thing you know you’re five pages deep on some random Reddit AMA with a B list celebrity. By the time you actually get back to work 45 minutes has passed.

What’s the actual cost of that task switching and in which ways can we measure it – Monetarily? Time-wise? Stress level?

While the aforementioned 45 minutes is rather steep, research shows it takes more like 25 to get back on task.

The monetary value of this time will vary widely based on a variety of factors, but the time and stress level are pretty simple. It takes you more time to get less done, and  you end up more stressed as a result of it.

Life’s stressful enough. How do we avoid this added and unnecessary stressor? Keep your eyes peeled for part deux, and check out our very own Colin Kennedy’s thoughts on the topic here.