It’s tough to concentrate at work these days. You sit down to finally get to work on a project you’ve been putting off, but before you get into it, you decide you have to check your email and Twitter. And then you remember that you forgot to fix the lawn mower this weekend, and also that you want to check out that new Italian place that just opened up last week. Before you know it, it’s noon, you have a zillion tabs open on your browser, and you haven’t gotten a single bit of work done.
Take heart. It might just be because you’re intellectually gifted. This, according to a new study from workplace solutions company Steelcase. They surveyed 10,000 workers from 17 different countries and found that almost half reported difficulty concentrating at work. How difficult? Participants in the study said they found their minds wandering once every three minutes.
The difficulty is even worse for people with higher intelligence, who have trouble prioritizing tasks. Which, according to psychiatrist Ned Hallowell, can lead to “a feeling of inadequacy and inability to deal with the workload as a whole.” That translates to poorer performance in the workplace. Not good.
“Employers are always on the lookout for the brightest people available, however the difficulty to withstand multiple tasks and distractions in the office affects smart people in the same way as everyone else, if not more,” Steelcase vice president Bostjan Ljubic said.