Productivity: The Berry and the Weed

In a digital world of infinite distraction, it is “single-tasking”… that will save us. That’s what Tim Ferriss tells us. He backs it up as follows.

In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London administered IQ tests to three groups: the first did nothing but perform the IQ test, the second was distracted by e-mail and ringing phones, and the third was stoned on marijuana. Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points. The e-mailers, on the other hands, did worse than the stoners by an average of 6 points.

Tim’s point is interesting, helpful, and, given the recent Blackberry outage, timely. Unfortunately, it’s not well-documented. We’re given no link or citation for the study. Is it an unpublished and anonymous study?

Tim does find time to tell us that he made the front page of the Huffington Post, although he doesn’t provide a link to his article there. And he certainly makes it clear how important it is that we buy his new book. If he thinks I’m going to buy a book by someone who doesn’t provide sources, he’s smoking something.

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