As I write this, I have 2 phone messages to return, 13 email messages open (and well over 1000 in my Inbox to eventually return), 16 Mozilla browser Tabs open and 7 programs on my computer open. Not surprisingly, my Google System Monitor Widget says that 93% of my CPU’s capacity is working (and working hard!).
Apparently, I am one of the many workers who is costing our economy $650 BILLION a year in lost productivity. Researchers have now found that no, I am not quicker and I cannot get more done just by having more open windows, programs and files at my disposal. In fact, they estimate that 28% of my time is “interrupted time,” meaning 28% of my time is spent getting back up to speed on whatever I just switched back to.
I’m going to have to rethink my entire way of working now. I’m bummed but also intrigued. If I could be 28% more effective, just think what else I could get done!
I hear you–and that was the 2007 you, pre-child. I’ll bet there’s even more going on now! What are people using for time and appointment management? I like the Getting Things Done system, but need an online/iPad version.
I have tried SO SO SO many time management systems in the intervening years – oh my goodness! The most effective one for me was the Stephen Covey “7 Habits” way of working: plan the week on Sunday, plan your top goals daily, and let everything else fall in.
I am religious about doing that about 25% of the time. The rest of the time is a mixture of too many things open and too many things to do and some scale or level of Stephen Covey but not perfect at it.