Google is trying to “organize the world’s information,” presumably to help us be more productive. But they make their money selling advertising. By definition, ads are things that distract us from what we’re trying to do and entice us to go shopping, instead. Whether or not the thing we’re shopping for is related to what we were doing is irrelevant; ads knock us out of the Zone in favor of shopping.
Even if we don’t click on the ads, if you’re like me, their mere presence is a bit of a distraction. Especially if they are animated or flashy or move.
As I discuss in chapter 4 of my book, restore focus by eliminating distractions. Use a plug-in like Firefox AdBlock Plus to eliminate as many ads as possible. And while I appreciate the convenience of Google products, if you find yourself getting distracted because you’re living in your Web browser, close the browser and use desktop applications that don’t pull you away from your task at hand.