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Meet the Life Hackers

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Meet the Life Hackers

One of the great journalists, Clive Thompson has written a good piece on interruptions we faced at work. This is a serious issue for us at work, especially there are different sort of ways on distracting us – your computer, mobile phone, PDA, your colleagues, your boss… Think about when you need to tackle a bigger project – you really need a good block of time to do it. The article mentions when you are distracted from a task, in average a worker need 25 minutes to return to a task. After that worker only spends around 11 minutes on project before another interruption kicks in:

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… 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…

With this figure, for 8 hours work time, work out there are only roughly 2 hours (8 * 60 / (11+25) * 11) on quality project time. Think about this figure verse the rest of 6 hours. Wouldn’t you want to improve this? (Yup, that’s why you are reading this site.)

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The article then goes on and Clive interviewed many great people and talks about the movements on solving interruptions. For instance, he interviewed Microsoft researchers on interruption and UI design.

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Hat tips to Venki for forwarding this URL.

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Meet the Life Hackers – [New York Times]

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