If there is one thing Web 2.0 and the advancements in online software have created it is an attention deficit for those of us who us it. With RSS feeds, email and IM we could pretty much keep ourselves "busy" all day without ever actually getting any of the important stuff done.
On the other hand these tools and their interaction are quickly becoming essential for communication, the processing of information and staying connected to friends and online communities.
Instead of letting this be a Catch 22 check out what Gina Trapani from the productivity blog Life Hacker has found to work. It is something she calls Bi-modal work styles. In one style she has IM open, Email up, Music with lyrics playing and is aware and okay with interruptions and tangents. She can still get work done in this mode, but it isn't as focused.Then she has a mode where she closes all those programs, closes her door and really focuses down on some work. This a mode where all distractions are locked out and it is a time of focus.
I have found myself shifting between modes like this just out of necessity. What do you think, do you work this way or have you found a happy medium?
Here is an excerpt from the article:
4. What are some common “time management” tactics or approaches that you disagree with or don’t follow, and why?[From Interview with Gina Trapani, Founder of Lifehacker - Morning Routine, Little Hacks with Big Results, and More… | The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss]
To some degree, I reject the super-structured, old school of time management thought, the type of rigid planning where you say “from 10AM till 10:45 I’m going to work on TPS reports. From 10:45 to 11:15 check email,” etc. As a “web worker,” by nature I embrace serendipity and tangents, and like to keep myself open to working on unexpected things that excite me, even if they’re not in the plan. For example, a few years back, during some web surfing, I happened upon a tutorial on how to build Firefox extensions. I let myself go down the rabbit hole, so to speak, and now extension development is a big part of what I do.