Why is it so hard to do my work? The challenge of attention residue when switching between work tasks
In many jobs, employees must manage multiple projects or tasks at the same time. A typical workday often entails switching between several work activities, including projects, tasks, and meetings. This paper explores how such work design affects individual performance by focusing on the challenge of switching attention from one task to another. As revealed by two experiments, people need to stop thinking about one task in order to fully transition their attention and perform well on another. Yet, results indicate it is difficult for people to transition their attention away from an unfinished task and their subsequent task performance suffers. Being able to finish one task before switching to another is, however, not enough to enable effective task transitions. Time pressure while finishing a prior task is needed to disengage from the first task and thus move to the next task and it contributes to higher performance on the next task.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 109 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mayseless, Ofra & Kruglanski, Arie W., 1987. "What makes you so sure? Effects of epistemic motivations on judgmental confidence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 162-183, April.
- Chakravarti, Amitav & Janiszewski, Chris, 2003. " The Influence of Macro-level Motives on Consideration Set Composition in Novel Purchase Situations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 244-258, September.
- Weenig, Mieneke W. H. & Maarleveld, Marleen, 2002. "The impact of time constraint on information search strategies in complex choice tasks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 689-702, December.
- Lim, Stephen Ghee-Soon & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1994. "Phases, Deadlines, and the Bargaining Process," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 153-171, May.
- De Dreu, Carsten K. W., 2003. "Time pressure and closing of the mind in negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 280-295, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:109:y:2009:i:2:p:168-181. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.