Realtime communications tools are deadly

The biggest impediment to concentration is your computer’s ecosystem of interruption technologies: IM, email alerts, RSS alerts, Skype rings, etc. Anything that requires you to wait for a response, even subconsciously, occupies your attention. Anything that leaps up on your screen to announce something new, occupies your attention. … By all means, schedule a chat — voice, text, or video — when it’s needed, but leaving your IM running is like sitting down to work after hanging a giant “DISTRACT ME” sign over your desk, one that shines brightly enough to be seen by the entire world.

Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction

(thank you jon)

2 Comments leave a comment below

  1. True. This reminds of an old article you posted. One reader complained you wrote too many articles in a day and I admit I found your update frequency high too. But I had – and have – my RSS reader open al the time (and set to update every 30 minutes). Same with Twitter. It really does distract me, but it’s so addictive!

  2. Couldn’t you say the same about a phone?
    “Anything that requires you to wait for a response” …leaving a message
    “Anything that leaps up” …ring Ring RING!!