“I’m great at multitasking,” some people say. But does leading a harried existence of constant interruptions, shifting our attention when the boss calls, or when a client needs “just a minute of your time,” or when the spouse or kids need you right now have a cost? All of these interruptions shift our focus, tear us away from what we’re doing. Individually, changing focus seems minor, just another part of modern life, but researcher Dr. Gloria Mark says interruptions add up and they’re stripping away our ability to have sustained focus. Dr. Mark, prolifically published psychologist and University of California’s Chancellor Professor of Informatics, has recently published Attention Span. Among her research findings is that the average attention on any screen was two minutes, 30 seconds in 2004. It was 75 seconds in 2012. In the last five to six years, it’s 47 seconds.
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Listen in to hear more about her findings and what kinds of hope she sees for our ability to focus.