dandv + interruptions   9

Programmer Interrupted
[[Researchers who have studied the costs of interruptions in office environments estimate that interrupted tasks take twice as long and contain twice as many errors as uninterrupted tasks.

Based on an analysis of 10,000 programming sessions recorded from 86 programmers using Eclipse and Visual Studio, and a survey of 414 programmers, we found:

* A programmer takes 10-15 minutes to start editing code after resuming work from an interruption.
* When interrupted during an edit of a method, a programmer resumed work in less than a minute only 10 percent of the time.
* A programmer is likely to get just one uninterrupted two-hour session in a day.

If an interrupted person is allowed to suspend their working state or reach a "good breakpoint," then the impact of the interruption can be reduced. However, programmers often need at least seven minutes before they transition from a high memory state to a low memory state.

In some cases, interruption may even be beneficial; 40 percent of interrupted tasks are not resumed, and possibly because we realize that the task is not as important, or because the interruption gives us a chance to reflect on the problem.

* http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/190891/programmer_interrupted.php
* https://jaxenter.com/aaaand-gone-true-cost-interruptions-128741.html
against  interruptions  cost  programming 
january 2017 by dandv
Use the Zeigarnik Effect to do and learn anything faster
The brain dislikes unfinished tasks and craves closure. So when the time comes to go to sleep or go to a meeting, do so enthusiastically, because:

1) in the meantime your subconscious will work on the problem
2) you'll be excited to resume in the morning / after the meeting
3) the actual effect is that the brain remembers better interrupted tasks (http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1286&context=div3facpubs)

Kill the "maker vs. manager time" dread of interruptions!

For the best effect, interrupt on a high note ("when the going is good")

"I never come back to a blank page; I always finish about halfway through. To be confronted with a blank page is not very nice. But Hemingway, a great American writer, taught me the finest trick when you are doing a long book, which is, he simply said in his own words, “When you are going good, stop writing.
And that means that if everything’s going well and you know exactly where the end of the chapter’s going to go and you know just what the people are going to do, you don’t go on writing and writing and writing until you come to the end of it, because when you do, then you say, well, where am I going to go next? And you get up and you walk away and you don’t want to come back because you don’t know where you want to go." - Roald Dahl
paradigm-shift  productivity  interruptions  solution  learning  hack  psychology 
january 2017 by dandv
Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work
If you actually talk to people and even question yourself, and you ask yourself, where do you really want to go when you really need to get something done?

...You almost never hear someone say "the office". But businesses are spending all this money on this place called the office, and they're making people go to it all the time, yet people don't do work in the office.

You don't have a workday anymore. You have work moments. It's like the front door of the office is like a Cuisinart, and you walk in and your day is shredded to bits, because you have 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there, and then something else happens and you're pulled off your work, and you've got to do something else, then you have 20 minutes, then it's lunch.

You look back on your day, and you're like, I got nothing done today. I was at work. I sat at my desk. I used my expensive computer. I used the software they told me to use. I went to these meetings I was asked to go to. I did these conference calls. I did all this stuff. But I didn't actually do anything. I just did tasks. I didn't actually get meaningful work done.

And what you find is that, especially with creative people -- designers, programmers, writers, engineers, thinkers -- that people really need long stretches of uninterrupted time to get something done. You cannot ask somebody to be creative in 15 minutes and really think about a problem. You might have a quick idea, but to be in deep thought about a problem and really consider a problem carefully, you need long stretches of uninterrupted time.

When's the last time you had three hours to yourself at the office? Two hours? One, maybe? Very, very few people actually have long stretches of uninterrupted time at an office. And this is why people choose to do work at home, or they might go to the office, but they might go to the office really early in the day, or late at night when no one's around, or they stick around after everyone's left

Managers cite distractions. "I can't let someone work at home. They'll watch TV. They'll do this other thing." It turns out that those aren't the things that are really distracting. Because those are voluntary distractions. You decide when you want to be distracted by the TV. [...] At the office, most of the interruptions and distractions that really cause people not to get work done are involuntary.

The real problems are what I like to call the M&Ms, the Managers and the Meetings. Managers are basically people whose job it is to interrupt people. They don't really do the work, so they have to make sure everyone else is doing the work, which is an interruption.

"Hey look, we're going to bring 10 people together right now and have a meeting. I don't care what you're doing. Just, you've got to stop doing what you're doing, so you can have this meeting." I mean, what are the chances that all 10 people are ready to stop?

Companies often think of a one-hour meeting as a one-hour meeting, but that's not true, unless there's only one person in that meeting. If there are 10 people in the meeting, it's a 10-hour meeting; it's not a one-hour meeting. It's 10 hours of productivity taken from the rest of the organization to have this one one-hour meeting, which probably should have been handled by two or three people talking for a few minutes.

But how about "no-talk Thursdays?" -- nobody in the office can talk to each other. Just silence, that's it. And what you'll find is that a tremendous amount of work actually gets done when no one talks to each other. This is when people actually get stuff done, is when no one's bothering them, when no one's interrupting them. And you can give someone -- giving someone four hours of uninterrupted time is the best gift you can give anybody at work. It's better than a computer. It's better than a new monitor. It's better than new software, or whatever people typically use.

Another thing you can try is switching from active communication and collaboration, which is like face-to-face stuff, tapping people on the shoulder, saying hi to them, having meetings, and replace that with more passive models of communication, using things like email and instant messaging, or collaboration products

You can quit I.M.; you can't hide your manager. You can put these things away, and then you can be interrupted on your own schedule, at your own time, when you're available, when you're ready to go again.

if you do have a meeting coming up, if you have the power, just cancel. Just don't have it. I don't mean move it; I mean just erase it from memory, it's gone. And you'll find out that everything will be just fine. All these discussions and decisions you thought you had to make at this one time at 9 a.m. on Monday, just forget about them, and things will be just fine. People have a more open morning, they can actually think, and you'll find out that maybe all these things you thought you had to do, you don't actually have to do.
against  office  work  meetings  managers  productivity  interruptions  TED  video 
december 2014 by dandv
How To Be Efficient: Dan Ariely’s 6 New Secrets To Managing Your Time14
Via Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking:

"…top performers overwhelmingly worked for companies that gave their workers the most privacy, personal space, control over their physical environments, and freedom from interruption."
quiet  office  privacy  productivity  efficiency  performance  work  workspace  interruptions 
october 2014 by dandv
Knuth versus Email
"Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don't have time for such study."

`I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.' --- Umberto Eco, quoted in the New Yorker
against  anti  email  interruptions  focus  concentration  GTD 
august 2010 by dandv
Paul Graham - How to Make Wealth
Why and how working in a startup can earn as much money as working a normal job until you retire. Excellent notes on why hackers prefer uninterruptibility.
Paul  Graham  wealth  interrupt  interruptions  startup 
august 2009 by dandv
IT@Intel · Information Overload VII: Distractions and Interruptions
[[Researchers from UC Irvine showed that a knowledge worker can expect on average to do three minutes of uninterrupted work on any one task before being interrupted, and 11 minutes before switching to a different "working sphere" (i.e. project). Interestingly, about half of the interruptions are self-inflicted; that is, if nothing external pops up, the worker will spontaneously decide to check their email, look at the news on the web, visit the water cooler, or some such.]]

Note that the HP sponsored research in the UK showing that the IQ scores of information workers subjected to distracting alerts are reduced by 10 points, twice the reduction observed in people smoking marijuana, was misinterpreted by the media - https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.drglennwilson.com/Infomania_experiment_for_HP.doc
interruptions  research  break  focus  knowledge  worker  productivity  concentration  interrupt  IQ  marijuana  multitasking 
february 2009 by dandv
Report: Info overload costs $900 billion, blame Mr. Rogers
"According to CEO Joseph Spira, in addition to that 28 percent lost to interruptions, information workers spend 15 percent of the day searching, 20 percent in meetings, and only 25 percent on "productive content creation."
work  time  waste  interrupt  statistics  study  productivity  information  overload  interruptions  multitasking 
january 2009 by dandv

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