Stowe Boyd just posted some intriguing thoughts on what he calls "continuous partial attention" (what geeks call "context switching"). Some folks say that IM really stands for "interruptive messaging" and that interruptions cause productivity to decrease, but Stowe argues that once you average all those interruptions over a network of people, overall productivity increases. It'd be good to see some real studies of the matter, rather than just hunches and anecdotes. My personal style is to be interrupt-driven, so I have a direct interest in learning what works here.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal