Interruption Overload, Pickles and Time Management
Being always and easily connected can make starting something and finishing it in a timely fashion difficult. Warning: information overload (registration required) by Rhymer Rigby in today's Financial Times and Time Management: The Pickle Jar Theory by Jeremy Wright (2002, from the Archives of A List Apart) speak to the same topic of Overload. The same tools (Blackberry, E-Mail- Instant Messaging, Cell Phones and the rest) that are supposed to make us more efficient happen to disrupt our work. We lose lose focus on the task at hand, feel frustrated. Being bombarded by many type of messages, we try to cram as many things as we can in a day. Jeremy Wright offers a saner theory of picking the few tasks that really matter today and if there is time left for the rest fine. It echoes one of my favorite Tom Peters ideas, To Don't Lists.
The overload/ overprogramming has even spilled over into our 'down' or 'vacation' time, like we need to justify that the time 'off' is time well spent.
Last Sunday, the best part of the day was the idle time I spent sipping my coffee outdoors at a Cafe, daydreaming and baking in the midday sun like a happy lizard.
There is work but one still needs to eat, sleep and unwind.