When you work with other people, interruptions happen. Having worked in numerous settings with a variety of people, I have experienced this first hand many times. One person has a question about a project. Another person asks the same question they asked me yesterday. Someone else just wants to chat. Still another person wants to know what I thought of last night’s game. Before you know it, I’ve wasted half an hour (or more!) and have forgotten what I was doing.
If you have lots of time to kill (hah!), then interruptions might not matter to you. But for those of us that have to get things done and meet deadlines, most of these interruptions are unwelcome. Even when they deal directly with your work they still disrupt your thought processes and workflow.
So what can we do to manage these interruptions? Are there alternative ways (and possibly better ways) to communicate things that are important, but not urgent? Can we teach people to gauge which messages are urgent, which are important, and which are neither? Would that change our communication strategy?