"Technology has kind of turned the tables on us," Honore said. "We move to its speed and its rhythm."
And in addition to sapping our creativity, some studies suggest that we may not even be getting anywhere by trying to send an e-mail, talk to a co-worker and send instant messages to our boss at the same time. Russell says humans just aren't that good at doing many things at once.
The problem, Russell said, is that there are only certain types of tasks that humans are good at doing simultaneously. Cooking and talking on the phone go together fine, as does walking and chewing gum (for most people). But try and do three math problems at once, and you are sure to have a problem.
"The paradox of modern life is that multitasking is, in most cases, counterproductive," Russell said.
Sadly this is not new. This was pointed out in PeopleWare and Mythical Man-month 20 years ago. 3 minute interruptions are a bit faster then back then but it is still the same problem. More interrupts then thinking time.
While he says 8 minutes i the time to get into creative state, that is pretty close to the Flow measurement of 15 minutes so that is close enough and that is how long it takes just to get started thinking. So a 5 second question you can look up will lose 8+ minutes of someone else's productivity.
People who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.