In my experience when a person doesn't know what to do with himself, he will check his email. So with a blank and troubled mind I strolled into the office of the pension, and stood in line waiting for the one super-slow email connection.
I wonder how much more I could get done if it wasn't for One More Thing.
I encounter an inordinate number of time sucks throughout my day. Things like:
- Checking my email
- Checking my Sitemeter stats
- Checking the Seattle PI and Seattle Times homepage
- Check for updates on Fark
- Clearing that shelf
- Refilling my coffee
- Charging my iPod
- Filing my email
- Deleting my email
- Sorting my attachments
Each of these activities may only take a few seconds. I can do them while I'm waiting on hold, or while I'm waiting for Windows to do something. Or for a computer to reboot. Or in between big projects. The do a great job of filling those small gaps.
The problem is that anyone of these tasks can lead me astray. What starts out as a 30 second task can easily turn into a 5 minute or 10 minute task. And when I factor in a bunch of them, it adds up.
The result? Well, I have about 20 "project" blog posts I haven't had time to write because all these little things during the day interfere.
I'm beginning to think that trying to make the best use of those stray minutes throughout the day is actually counter productive.