The New York Times recently featured an article compiling the results of several new studies looking at distractions and multitasking.
The following confirms the necessity of stopping the distractions:
In a recent study, a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to incoming e-mail or instant messages. They strayed off to reply to other messages or browse news, sports or entertainment Web sites.
“I was surprised by how easily people were distracted and how long it took them to get back to the task,” said Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft research scientist and co-author, with Shamsi Iqbal of the University of Illinois, of a paper on the study that will be presented next month.
Merlin Mann of 43folders has linked to several resources on the myth of multitasking.
By trying to multitask we slow down our minds processing time and the results take longer to achieve.