I tweeted out this picture last week about interruptions at work. I'm reading Remote by 37Signals co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson and I came across this great quote.
This may read as, "Miles doesn't want to be interrupted at work," but it's just as much of a reminder to myself not to interrupt others.
When I'm in a design mindset, I occasionally seek the reassurance that a work in progress is heading in the right direction. On occasion, I've caught myself waiting at the door of a colleague for an opinion that I could probably continue working without. And yes, part of my appreciation for the quote is recalling the times when we all suffer a cognitive stumble or loss of momentum after a needless interruption.
Leaning Towards Asynchronous Communication
Technology has advanced beyond in-person meetings and telelphone calls. Asynchronous communication is completely possible and growing in acceptance for internal purposes and client communications.
Whether we choose to call (completely real time communication), text message, chat or IM (semi-real time communication) or email (or communicate using other non-real time communication), we need to remind ourselves that we have a decision to make.
When something needs an answer now, we should indeed call or stop by for an interruption. If, however, we have no need for an immediate answer other than it is OUR priority, it may be more respectful and efficient to send the issue into their queue to deal with when they are in the proper mindset to give it their full attention.