Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Cost of Interruptions

Lots of blogging about the high cost of distractions and interruptions, following a 10/27/06 Newhouse News article by Kevin Coughlin titled New Technology Takes Mental Toll on Workers. (No link available, but email for the text). Jabber talks about Attention:

Attention is our most valuable commodity, what we are attending to at the moment is what gets done.

Interruptions is on of the things that Microsoft's Presence (and other presence-oriented networking) may solve or increase. Alex Sauders talks about The cost of distraction -- facts & figures are available at Knowledge Management mag.

Interruptions are costly. In fact, unnecessary interruptions consume about 28 percent of the knowledge worker's day, which translates to 28 billion lost hours to companies in the United States alone.

22 trillion email, trillions of IM, phone calls, meetings, cell phone calls, text messages:

Where does the time go? A "quick" question from a colleague here, a drop-in-and-chat session from another there, a phone call, a never-ending flow of incoming e-mail. Add it all up, and you'll soon see how interruptions can consume your entire day.[]

Newhouse News has a new article about Tackling the downside of e-mail . I get hundreds of email every day - from spam, to jokes, to videos (um, Cliff!), to RFP's, questions, answers, pricing. I understand the email problem. You want to be responsive. But you have projects to complete, articles to write, circuits to install. Time management is a difficult dragon to slay. I have a coach and it gets the best of me every week. Many of these articles have tips to follow like letting voicemail get some calls and don't auto download email -- set blocks of time for calls and email, while you work on priority projects that will move you toward your goals. (Thanks, Keith!)

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