NY Times Meet the lifehacker. Read it quick before it disappears behind the pay wall.

When Mark crunched the data, a picture of 21st-century office work emerged that was, she says, "far worse than I could ever have imagined." Each employee spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted and whisked off to do something else. What's more, each 11-minute project was itself fragmented into even shorter three-minute tasks, like answering e-mail messages, reading a Web page or working on a spreadsheet. And each time a worker was distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return to that task. To perform an office job today, it seems, your attention must skip like a stone across water all day long, touching down only periodically.

So clear some time in your day. Put Skype on DND and turn off all notifications in Skype and any other IM programs. Turn off your email reader or at least turn down the notifications. You don't need to read your email *now*. Turn off your Blackberry and mobile phone. Take the phone off the hook or divert it to voice mail. Put on the noise cancelling headphones. Close that browser with 76 tabs open. Resist the urge to just open your RSS news reader one last time.

It now takes about 15 minutes to get in the zone where you're totally focussed on the job in hand. Don't let anything distract you for the next 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Now go for a short walk round the garden to decompress, make another coffee, turn it all back on again and step back into the firehose. [from: JB Ecademy]

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[ 22-Oct-05 9:55am ]