When interruptions predominate
, little work gets done, observes Paul Radde, Ph.D. author of Thrival. Radde says "Cell phone use is not just plain rude, it is mentally distracting and abusive to others. Cell phone use captures the brain's interest in completing the conversation, so whether the user is broadcasting or simply within earshot, the Zeigarnik effect kicks in. This is the same desire for closure that makes the effects of multi-tasking akin to the effects of post-traumatic stress."
The Zeigarnik effect is characterized by the tendency for people to remember interrupted tasks better than those that have been completed. "Once taken off one task, without completing the transaction," Radde observes, "the mind continues to seek closure. If you have a number of things going, but none of them to completion, you have these tensions tending toward completion -- and that is stress-provoking."
Labels: cell phones, completion, distraction, interruption, multi-tasking