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.
Irony: I stumbled across this article after doing some surfing after checking my email to procrastinate from the work that I’m supposed to be doing!
The article also debunks the myth that younger people are better at multi-tasking than older people. Lots of interesting stuff for our communication-saturated age.