I usually stick to open source-related topics on this blog, but this story really resonated with me. Dr. Edward Hallowell says he's identified a disorder similar to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which he has dubbed Attention Deficit Trait (ADT).
According to Hallowell, ADT is "sort of like the normal version of attention deficit disorder. But it's a condition induced by modern life, in which you've become so busy attending to so many inputs and outputs that you become increasingly distracted, irritable, impulsive, restless and, over the long term, underachieving."
Sound at all familar? Between e-mail, instant messaging, voice mail, faxes, phone calls, pagers, meetings and other forms of
interruption communication, it sometimes seems next-to-impossible to get ten uninterrupted minutes just to get some honest work done.
As someone who works from home a good chunk of the time, I can say that I'm far more productive when out of the reach of co-workers, phone calls, instant messages and so forth. I have a phone in my home, of course, but I turn the ringer off when writing and only sign into IM clients when I feel like chatting. However, when I go into the office, I don't have the option of turning off the phone or shooing away my co-workers when I'm deeply involved in a project.
There are plenty of time-management theories out there, but time-management doesn't solve the problem of an interrupt-driven work environment. Is there a solution to the information overload? If you have any thoughts or solutions, my attention is all yours.