In the past decade, the world has gone from a total of 12 billion emails a day to 247 billion, from 400,000 text messages to 4.5 billion, from an individual average of 2.7 hours a week online to 18 hours.
Cathy Davidson sites these stats in Harvard Business Review (January 2012), but jumps to the unexpected conclusion that all these distractions may not necessarily lower one’s productivity…
“Gazing aimlessly out the window is as important to creativity as logging on to Facebook to view the latest photo of your young nephew and then returning to work in a better, lighter, more productive mood. Research shows that accident, disruption, distraction, and difference increase our motivation to learn and to solve problems, both individually and collectively. The key is to embrace and even create positive interruptions; In the future, continuous partial attention will perhaps be seen not as a problem but as a critical new skill.”