“What advice (relating to managing interruptions) do you have for those of us who work in a deadline-driven industry, and even for people who don’t, if is not an option to only check email once every couple of hours--you may need to respond to a message immediately upon receipt, particularly if it is from your manager!”
This was my answer
“Checking e-mail once every couple of hours in today’s work environment? Not only this is not possible, but I think it may be counter-productive.
We live in a highly collaborative work environment, and we are highly interdependent, so we need to check e-mail more often and keep the issues and decisions moving along.
What I recommend is checking e-mail after each focused session.
So if my current task requires 20 minutes of focus, I stop checking e-mail during this focused time, and then the first think I do after the 20 minutes is check e-mail.
This is the message that I want everyone to hear: The highest levels of accomplishments are achieved when we work in bursts. A burst of focused effort, followed by a burst of collaborate effort, and then followed by a burst of play time to get re-energized and ready for more.
Now e-mails from managers are a whole different story. Managers need to become more aware of the impact that their e-mails have on their team and not expect immediate response. When issues are critical and require immediate response, use a different way to notify their team. Something they should discuss with their team and agree upon ahead of time.”
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