Techno Crutches make you dumber than a POTHEAD

. . . A study carried out at the British Institute of Psychiatry . . found that excessive use of technology reduced workers' intelligence and that those distracted by incoming e-mail and phone calls saw a ten-point fall in their IQ, over twice the impact of smoking or marijuana use. . .

Programmers [for example ] know that task switches take a long time. It is easier to keep going once you're at full steam . . . than to stop work and finish later. That last hour might take three hours, since you have to retrieve all of the background info from long-term memory and bring it back to the front of your mind.

Studies report that the American worker wastes 2.1 hours per day due to multitasking. When distracted while performing a task, it takes a certain amount of time to begin the new task, complete the new task and get back on track with the original task. Microsoft employees had their computers log their work for a period and found that simply dealing with an e-mail message took an average of 15 minutes and often lead to subsequent distractions, which lead to the employee taking up to an hour to get back to their original task.

The bottom line is that multitasking has been proven to make us less effective, not more. Although our digital assistants can be time savers, they can also be time wasters, if we allow them to break our focus. So for all of you who trouble getting things done . . . turn off your chat, RSS feeds, Google Desktop, Outlook alerts and whatever else keeps distracting you, and see what it would it would be like to simply focus on [ the task at hand ].