Another Fast Company column by Gina Trapani. Here are the first two paragraphs:
In an interruption-driven culture, it’s too easy to let everyone else decide where your attention goes and how to spend your next 10 minutes. If you jump every time your phone rings, a new email arrives, your Blackberry buzzes, or someone stops by your desk, you’re undermining your most important work and costing your company money. A recent study shows that unnecessary interruptions costs the U.S. economy $650 billion dollars in lost productivity per year.
Being available to your boss and co-workers is part of your job. But the most creative and important work you do requires total focus and attention for an extended period of time. Your brain needs at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to dive in, concentrate on one thing, and get into the zone where you’re truly focused and doing your best work. Time blocking is a technique that sets the stage for that to happen.