The high cost of distraction

by Terry Monaghan, July 24, 2012

At a conference earlier this month, I heard some staggering stats about the high cost of distraction.

Here’s how it was presented.

The average American watches about 4 hours of television a day. Assuming that person makes just $20 per hour, over the course of his/her working life that will add up to $1 million in lost earnings and another $1 million in lost interest.

What does watching television have to do with business? Well, how often do you get interrupted during your day? How much time are you distracted from your job? What about your team? Your employees?

Hint: email alone can suck up nearly half your workday.

Statistically, we are being interrupted about once every 6-8 minutes all day long (and it can take 10-15 minutes to refocus, each and every time).

So, from the point of view of the business owner – that would be $1 million paid in wages but not received in work product from the employee. Multiply that across the organization, and the true cost of distraction is (as I said above) staggering!

And how would we calculate the lost revenue to the business?

Is that enough of an incentive to start dealing proactively with the interruptions?


(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

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  1. inkpistol says:

    Great post! Puts some things in perspective for people who like to lollygag.


  1. […] If you still don’t think it’s important to get control of your time, you might want to read The High Cost of Distraction. […]