I read something recently (sorry I don’t remember where) about reading your email.
I’ve got to admit that I’m easily distracted. The question is, do distractions reduce my ability to re-focus on the task that I just left. For me, I would say minimally so. For instance, if I am in the middle of something and my wife asks me a question, I have no problem answering and getting back to what I was doing.
The issue is how involved the task is. If it is something that takes some time or maybe its super critical and causes stress leading to a greater distraction. But then, how many of those kinds of distractions occur during the day? For me, very few. I really only have 1-3 super crisis situations a week. Yeah, I guess you need to define crisis too. I remember back as a teenager when a pimple was a life-ending crisis. Now, much later in life having faced life-and-death problems all my life, I don’t sweat the little things anymore. So I don’t feel that there are big crises in my life.
Regardless, my former idea (from reading somewhere else) was to turn off all distractions when you are doing a focused task. For the most part, I still agree with this. But allow me to respond why I don’t do this anymore.
Here is my point:
If you are a responsible person who is in charge of something or supervises others, it is important to respond to people in a timely manner. Actually answering questions from a loved one is in the same category. We can quickly sort in our minds a spam email from an important one. The real issue is, are you causing delays in someone else’s ability to do their work efficiently because they are waiting for you to answer a question? Usually, when they send an email to you with a question, they are working on your issue right then and there. So if you send back an answer within the minute, it allows your employees or colleagues to continue with their work.
To be honest, I love to surprise people with an email response almost like chatting on the phone or texting. It makes all of our lives so much more efficient.
Thanks for reading.