We've all been there: it's only 3pm but you can't concentrate any more. You have a huge project due in tomorrow morning but everything seems to be distracting you: the buzzing of your phone in your pocket, the conversation between two co-workers across the room and you're even itching to tidy up your desk.
Everyone is prone to a bit of distraction here and there - but if you find it happening all the time, don't fear.
According to scientific research, those who consistently find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand may actually be more intelligent than colleagues who are more gifted at paying attention.
The reason is because intelligent people constantly have new and exciting ideas running through their brains, therefore making it more difficult to focus.
Workplace solutions company Steelcase examined 10,000 workers in 17 countries, and found that the majority found it difficult to concentrate in the office, with participants saying they got distracted once every three minutes.
The study found that the average worker checks their email every two minutes and has eight programmes open on their computers at once.
‘Employers are always on the lookout for the brightest people available, however the difficulty to withstand multiple tasks and distractions in the office affects smart people in the same way as everyone else, if not more,’ explained Bostjan Ljubic, vice president of Steelcase.
‘The ways in which we work are changing more rapidly than ever before and the brain is being subjected to stresses and distractions which can lead to overload and statistics show that distractions in the workplace are on the rise.’
And Dr Ned Hallowell, a psychiatrist, warned that because the more clever workers among us find it hard to focus, this can lead to feelings of ‘inadequacy’ and an ‘inability to deal with the workload as a whole’ – as well as making brighter people fall short both of their own expectations and their bosses’.
So next time you catch us staring quizzically out of the window instead of finishing the mundane task in front of us, you’ll know why: it’s because we’re secretly geniuses.
What do you think of the research? Let us know @marieclaireuk