a theory of productivity

How to think about productivity. Lest take a example a math test. The test contains 20 problems, the total assumed time with no interruption to finish the test with all correct answers is 60 minutes. That is all god. Now lest assume that we mix in interruption in to the factor. At 5 times at random times you will get interrupted. The interruption will be to answer a random question, that will take 1-2 min to answer. You are then to return to the test. If we now assume that the interruption will be done so that you get interrupted when you are close to a answer. This interruption will result in 3 of 5 tests that you got interrupted no will be incorrect. For every interruption you also had to restart the current question you were on since you forgot the answer you almost had.

  • time per test no interruptions (60 min / 20 tests) = 3 min / test
  • time per test when interuppted (60 min / 20 tests) + ( 5 interruptions * 3 min) = 3.75 min / test. And 3 of 20 tests were incorrect.

Conclusion here if you think of productivity like this it will be clear that the result of a uninterrupted person will be better then the interrupted one. So next time you send a email to a college go over and ask did you se my email. think again and leat the guy/girl get to it when they have time. In the majority of all cases that you like a answer to a email you do not really need it at this instance.

If you also think of the interruption as a notification on your phone/laptop you louse focus and look on Facebook, twitter read some news. that is more close to the normal work day. And the math test is a new feature or a bug that you are trying to fix.