There is a reason why sometimes I work with my door closed. It is not to be mean, it is not to be anti social. It is because I need to think. While I’m all for spontaneous meetings when needed, people need to be more respectful of people’s work space.
About a year ago, I turned off all messaging services on my computer except for Skype where I’m Offline and I’ve put all alerts on my BB on mute, except for call from my boss when he’s travelling. I find my productivity went up in spades.
When we get down to it, it’s really a question of avoiding cognitive overload. Gina Trapani gets to the heart of the matter in this article and the video included in this article really hits the nail on the head as well.
When your brain switches its attention from one task to another, it takes time to get into a new train of thought. You lose any momentum you had on the first task, which costs you on the next switch. On the internet or in an office where distractions abound, switching tasks can cost hours. A recent study showed that office employees who were interrupted while they worked took an average of 25 minutes to get back to what they started.
When it comes to splitting your attention between tasks, remember the difference between multitasking and juggling. When you have the choice, stop juggling and get things done faster–one at a time.
- Work Smart: Stop Multitasking and Start Doing One Thing Really Well | Fast Company | Gina Trapani | 16 February 2010