The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 29 December 2003]

IM and ADD

Jakob Nielsen has written a piece about how Instant Messaging (IM) can be Kryptonite for productivity. While IM can be a very useful tool for long-distance collaboration, I couldn’t agree more with him that it’s yet another interruption factor, along with email and phone calls, that disrupt productivity, especially when you’re involved in tasks that require focus and concentration, say, like programming.

And yet, it’s spreading like wildfire.

It ties in, I think, with the Knowledge Economy being packed to the rafters with hyper-active ADD types. These are the kinds of people who can’t stay on task anyway, and relish doing fifteen things at once, often Single-Handedly Saving the Company while doing so. For this kind of personality type/disorder, IM is just another way of purposefully overwhelming themselves with short-term threads and above all else feeling that every second of every day is filled with some form of activity. No scribble, scribble for these people–it’s all about Action.

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