Researchers have estimated how much time people spend letting their minds…..Oh, Look! Squirrel!

People spend nearly half of their waking hours not thinking about what they are actually doing, according to a US study conducted via the iPhone.

More than 2,200 volunteers downloaded an app which then surveyed them about their thoughts and mood at random times of day and night.

The Science study suggested minds wander, even from demanding tasks, at least 30% of the time.

A UK expert said other studies confirm people were easily distracted.

The iPhone was a novel research tool for researchers at Harvard University.

Participants agreed to be contacted, at which point they selected what they were doing from a menu, whether they were actually thinking about it, and how happy or sad they felt.

Remarkably, some participants were prepared to answer the survey even when making love.

While their study sample was composed entirely of people who owned the device, and were prepared to download and be disturbed by an app of this kind, the researchers said it provides an insight into how our minds can wander during the day.

After gathering 250,000 survey results, the Harvard team concluded that this group of people spent 46.9% of their time awake with their minds wandering.

Only 46.9 percent of the time?  Fly-weights.  Ol’ Robbo keeps just about conscious enough of the here and now to remember to put one foot in front of the other when he walks and not to jam his fork into his cheek, but he’s usually miles away in thought.

**Spot the quote. (UPDATE: Fixed. Sorry about that.)