So I have since visited the blog of Maggie Jackson, author of the book featured in the article that was the subject of my initial post on the topic from February 11. Here she goes a bit more in depth as to why we multi-task, and how timely this discussion is given our current economic woes. Ms. Jackson attributes the "steep economic dive" to our shift in mind set from a focus on problem solving, to one of quick answers and split-second decisions.
She then continues to breifly detail how the influence of Frederick W. Taylor, seen widely as the first managment consultant, sentenced us to the chopped-up, chaotic workplace we find today. Furthermore, this topic was briefly covered in an excerpt from an upcoming book, Converging Media: The Changing Nature of Mass Communication, by John Pavlik and Shawn McIntosh. I would love to quote the text but I am not sure I am allowed.
In any case I am really starting to see things from this angle now, and I am even getting a little angry about it. Particularly since at work there is always talk about the need to focus and slow down, but the interruption just keeps coming. Just today, since 9:30 AM, I have been interrupted from the task at hand (not blogging - I just elected to enter this as it was fresh in my mind) at least half a dozen times. How far have I gotten on the plan I am mapping out? Not very. And I have a meeting in 15 minutes.
I really don't see a way out of this mess except for maybe more flexible work hours so that everyone is not working at the same time? Though I guess that comes along with its own challenges. OK - back to work.