Items marked in bold are cited elsewhere in this document.


Large portions of this document have been adapted and rewritten from a weekly blog that I maintained throughout the course of the project.


  1. Babauta, Leo. The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential -- In Business and in Life. New York: Hyperion, 2008.
  2. Carr, Nicholas G.. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010.
  3. Chabris, Christopher F., and Daniel J. Simons. The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us. New York: Crown, 2010.
  4. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008.
  5. Dreyfuss, Henry. Designing for People. New York: Allworth Press, 2003.
  6. Fogg, B. J.. Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2003.
  7. Gallagher, Winifred. Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2009.
  8. Heath, Chip, and Dan Heath. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. New York: Broadway Books, 2010.
  9. Jackson, Maggie. Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2008.
  10. Kaptelinin, Victor and Mary Czerwinski. Beyond the Desktop Metaphor: Designing Integrated Digital Work Environments. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007.
  11. Lanier, Jaron. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
  12. Raskin, Jef. The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 2000.
  13. Schwartz, Barry. The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. New York: Ecco, 2004.
  14. Thaler, Richard H., and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Rev. and expanded ed. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.
  15. Young, Damon. Distraction: A Philosopher's Guide to Being Free. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 2008

Journal Articles

  1. Adamczyk, Piotr, Shamsi Iqbal, and Brian Bailey. "A method, system, and tools for intelligent interruption management." TAMODIA '05: Proceedings of the 4th international workshop on Task models and diagrams (ACM), Sep 2005.
  2. Bailey, BP, and JA Konstan. "On the need for attention-aware systems: Measuring effects of interruption on task performance, error rate, and affective state." Computers in Human Behavior (Elsevier) 22, no. 4 (2006): 685-708.
  3. Bailey, Brian, and Shamsi Iqbal. "Understanding changes in mental workload during execution of goal-directed tasks and its application for interruption management." Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI 14, no. 4 (Jan 2008).
  4. Chewar, C, D McCrickard, and Alistair Sutcliffe."Unpacking critical parameters for interface design: evaluating notification systems with the IRC framework." DIS '04: Proceedings of the 5th conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques, Aug 2004.
  5. Cutrell, Edward B, Mary Czerwinski, and Eric Horvitz. "Effects of Instant Messaging Interruptions on Computing Tasks." CHI '00: CHI '00 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, 2000: 99-100.
  6. Czerwinski, Mary, Eric Horvitz, and Susan Wilhite. "A diary study of task switching and interruptions." CHI '04: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (ACM Request Permissions), Apr 2004.
  7. Dabbish, Laura, and Robert Kraut. "Email overload at work: an analysis of factors associated with email strain." CSCW '06: Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work, Nov 2006.
  8. Gluck, Jennifer, Andrea Bunt, and Joanna McGrenere. "Matching attentional draw with utility in interruption." CHI '07: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Apr 2007.
  9. González, Victor, and Gloria Mark. ""Constant, constant, multi-tasking craziness": managing multiple working spheres." CHI '04: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (ACM Request Permissions), Apr 2004.
  10. Horvitz, Eric, and Johnson Apacible. "Learning and reasoning about interruption." ICMI '03: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on Multimodal interfaces (ACM), Nov 2003.
  11. Iqbal, Shamsi, and Eric Horvitz. "Disruption and recovery of computing tasks: field study, analysis, and directions." CHI '07: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Apr 2007.
  12. Iqbal, Shamsi, and Eric Horvitz. "Notifications and awareness: a field study of alert usage and preferences." CSCW '10: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work, Feb 2010.
  13. Iqbal, ST, and BP Bailey. "Effects of intelligent notification management on users and their tasks." Proceeding of the twenty-sixth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (ACM), 2008: 93-102.
  14. Jin, J, and LA Dabbish. "Self-interruption on the computer: a typology of discretionary task interleaving." Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (ACM), 2009: 1799-1808.
  15. Kumaraguru, P, S Sheng, A Acquisti, LF Cranor, and J Hong. "Teaching johnny not to fall for phish." ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT) (ACM) 10, no. 2 (2010): 1-31.
  16. Mark, G, V.M Gonzalez, and J Harris. "No task left behind?: examining the nature of fragmented work." Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (ACM), 2005: 321-330.
  17. McCrickard, D, C Chewar, Jacob Somervell, and Ali Ndiwalana. "A model for notification systems evaluation—assessing user goals for multitasking activity." Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI 10, no. 4 (Dec 2003).
  18. McFarlane, Daniel, and Kara Latorella. "The scope and importance of human interruption in human-computer interaction design." Human-Computer Interaction (L. Erlbaum Associates Inc) 17, no. 1 (Mar 2002).
  19. Nagel, Thomas. "What is it like to be a bat?" Nov 2010: 1-11.
  20. Posner, Michael and Stephen Petersen. "The attention system of the human brain." Annual Review of Neuroscience 1990: 25-42.
  21. Pousman, Zachary, and John Stasko. "A taxonomy of ambient information systems: four patterns of design." AVI '06: Proceedings of the working conference on Advanced visual interfaces, May 2006.
  22. Salvucci, Dario, and Peter Bogunovich. "Multitasking and monotasking: the effects of mental workload on deferred task interruptions."CHI '10: Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Apr 2010.
  23. Salvucci, Dario, Niels Taatgen, and Jelmer Borst. "Toward a unified theory of the multitasking continuum: from concurrent performance to task switching, interruption, and resumption." CHI '09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Apr 2009.
  24. Speier, Cheri, Joseph Valacich, and Iris Vessey. "The effects of task interruption and information presentation on individual decision making." ICIS '97: Proceedings of the eighteenth international conference on Information systems (Association for Information Systems), Dec 1997.
  25. Tognazzini, Bruce. "Principles, techniques, and ethics of stage magic and their application to human interface design." CHI '93: Proceedings of the INTERACT '93 and CHI '93 conference on Human factors in computing systems, May 1993.
  26. Tolmie, Peter, Andy Crabtree, Tom Rodden, and Steve Benford. ""Are you watching this film or what?": interruption and the juggling of cohorts." CSCW '08: Proceedings of the 2008 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work, Nov 2008.
  27. Weiser, M, and JS Brown. "The coming age of calm technology." Xerox PARC. Retrieved July (Citeseer) 8 (1996): 2007.
  28. Wyatt, Kerryann, and James Phillips. "Internet use and misuse in the workplace." OZCHI '05: Proceedings of the 17th Australia conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Citizens Online: Considerations for Today and the Future (Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG) of Australia), Nov 2005.


All sites were visited and accessible as of April 29, 2011.

  1. Anderson, Sam. "In Defense of Distraction." New York Magazine, May 17, 2009.
  2. Babauta, Leo. "The No. 1 Habit of Highly Creative People." Zen Habits.
  3. Bernhard, Blythe. "Brief diversions may help employees improve work, study says.", February 17, 2011.
  4. Bilton, Nick. "Reinventing E-Mail, One Message at a Time." The New York Times, August 23, 2010.
  5. Bregman, Peter. "To Get More Done, Slow Down." Harvard Business Review, August 18, 2009.
  6. Carey, Benedict. "Searching the Brain for the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving." The New York Times, December 6, 2010.
  7. Conley, Dalton. "Wired for Distraction: Kids and Social Media." Time, March 19, 2011.,9171,2048363,00.html.
  8. Davenport, Tom. "Why We Don't Care About Information Overload." Harvard Business Review, December 8, 2009.
  9. A Day Without Media.
  10. de Botton, Alain. "On Distraction." City Journal, Spring 2010.
  11. Doctorow, Cory. "Writing in the Age of Distraction." Locus Online, January 2009.
  12. Glei, Jocelyn K. "The Top 3 Daily Time-Wasters & How To Tame Them." The 99 Percent, April 26, 2011.
  13. Heffernan, Virginia. "Miss G.: A Case of Internet Addiction." The New York Times, April 9, 2011.
  14. Helft, Miguel. "iPad ‘Smart Cover’ Opens to Instant Access." The New York Times, March 11, 2011.
  15. Holland, Kelley. "The Tension Builds (It's Almost Monday.)" The New York Times, March 23, 2008.
  16. Jan, Tracy. "Tangled in an endless web of distractions." The Boston Globe, April 24, 2011.
  17. Korkki, Phyllis. "Every Workday Needs a Game Plan." The New York Times, November 18, 2007.
  18. Lehrer, Jonah. "Bother Me, I'm Thinking." The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2011.
  19. Lehrer, Jonah. "Don't!" The New Yorker, May 18, 2009.
  20. Manjoo, Farhad. "Boss, I Need a Bigger Screen. For Work Efficiency, of Course." The New York Times, January 15, 2009.
  21. Mathers, Alex. "18 Tools for Destroying Distraction." Red Lemon Club, November 7, 2010.
  22. McCarthy, Caroline. "Let's get real about 'digital detoxing.'" CNET News, April 19, 2011.
  23. Meece, Mickey. "Who's the Boss, You or Your Gadget?" The New York Times, February 6, 2011.
  24. Meece, Mickey. "Work-Life Balance? Smartphones and Laptops Tip the Scale." The New York Times, February 5, 2011.".
  25. Meece, Mickey. "Working Constantly, Thanks to Technology." The New York Times, February 5, 2011.
  26. Naughton, John. "Thanks, Gutenberg - but we're too pressed for time to read" The Observer, January 27, 2008.
  27. Parker-Pope, Tara. "An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness." The New York Times, June 6, 2010.
  28. Pavlus, John. "Is 'Undesigned' the Next Great Web Trend? Fat Chance." Co.Design, November 4, 2010.
  29. Quenqua, Douglas. "If a Tree Falls at Work Friday..." The New York Times, August 1, 2010.
  30. Rapp, Sarah. "Lab Rat: How Can A Social Media Addict Find Focus?" The 99 Percent, December 1, 2010.
  31. Richtel, Matt. "Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast." The New York Times, June 14, 2008.
  32. Richtel, Matt. "Multitasking Takes Toll on Memory, Study Finds." The New York Times, April 11, 2011.
  33. Rosoff, Matt. "Sergey Brin Can Go 24 Hours Without Checking His Phone -- Can You?" Business Insider, March 4, 2011.
  34. Samuel, Alexandra. "Five Ways Twitter Can Help You Conquer Distraction." Harvard Business Review, November 4, 2010.
  35. Schwartz, Tony. "Take Back Your Attention." Harvard Business Review, February 9, 2011.
  36. Siegler, MG. "A Distracting Article About Digital Distraction." TechCrunch, November 21, 2010.
  37. Skarda, Erin. "The Case for Cute Kitty Videos: Study Shows Distractions Help You Focus." Time, February 21, 2011.
  38. Skarda, Erin. "Could Watching Viral Videos Enhance Creative Thinking?" Time, December 24, 2010.
  39. Small, Gary. "Techno Addicts." Psychology Today, July 22, 2009.
  40. Smith, Zadie. "Generation Why?" The New York Review of Books, December 23, 2010.
  41. Stein, Joel. "The Mess Manifesto." Time, January 24, 2011.,9171,2042340,00.html.
  42. Stibel, Jeff. "Why the Internet Is So Distracting (And What You Can Do About It.)" The Conversation, Harvard Business Review, October 20, 2009.".
  43. "Students Addicted to Social Media - New UM Study." University Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland, April 21, 2010.
  44. Suarez, Luis. "I Freed Myself From E-Mail's Grip." The New York Times, June 29, 2008.
  45. Sutter, John. "The Big Idea: The internet as a distraction machine." What's Next - Blogs, March 14, 2011.
  46. Traister, Rebecca. "Stop the Internet, I want to get off!", April 1, 2009.
  47. van Gorp, Trevor. "Emotional Design with A.C.T. - Part 1 ." Boxes and Arrows, August 17, 2010.
  48. Whitney, Lance. "E-mail addicts losing sense of propriety, risk." CNET News, February 18, 2010.
  49. William James on Attention.
  50. Wortham, Jenna. "Feel Like a Wallflower? Maybe It's Your Facebook Wall." The New York Times, April 9, 2011.