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Sick of Workplace Discussions Ruining Your Flow? One Study Has a Cunning Plan

Those workplace conversations that ruin your productivity are a real killer. However, one U.S. study believes they have the solution. 


The early days of January are often the most hectic. In many ways, they’re the selfish lover of the working year. All they do is take and want more. No matter, you push on, because it has to be done. You took that time off knowing full well that it’d be like this when you came back.

While you can handle the demands of work, what you shouldn’t be asked to handle is the tepid workplace conversation, the silent killer of your productivity. That’s silent insofar as the deafening noise emanating from the flapping jaw of some cretin from another department who mistook polite small talk as the first steps of a workplace friendship. So, there they stand, asking about your weekend, when you bloody well know that the only reason they asked was because they wanted to speak about their own.

Eventually they leave, leaving your concentration smashed on the floor as your mind is now solely focusing on cuck Robert’s forced trip to IKEA with the spouse and how he resisted her by choosing the salmon over the hot dog.

It takes time to get back to where you were. And that is the height of irritation. However, one American study has found a way around it and they believe that ignoring your coworkers is the first step.



Circling around the theory that the mind is a computer, and the more tabs you open, the slower it moves, Sophie Leroy, an assistant professor in the UW Bothell School of Business believes that you should spend the first moments you’re dragged into an anecdote making a quick mental checklist containing the three most important tiny points that you’ll need to do once your task recommences.

Leroy said she began pondering this theory when she was a consultant. Her work group would end a conference call only to realize they had each at some point “checked out” from the meeting — they would struggle to stay focused because their attention kept going back to their other pending projects. This prompted her, she said, to think about how, much as we try to multitask, we can really only have focused attention on one task at a time.

In theory, this will allow you to immediately jump back into the task you were doing before, able to rejoin midstream, instead of being stuck on the bank, mind blank.

Your anecdote was sufficient, Luis.


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