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Epiphany: I don't handle interrupts well - Phil's Rambling Rants
November 18th, 2007
08:56 pm

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Epiphany: I don't handle interrupts well
As I was considering a stupid mistake I made today, I verbalized something that I may have known, but never really thought about as significant: when I allow myself to be interrupted in something that I'm doing (either by someone else, or by my own realization that there's something else I need to do), I do a really bad job of actually picking up the thread of what I was doing before.  I spend a lot of my time in a state of stress because I'm always forgetting stuff, and I think that a very large chunk of these things are forgotten when I get interrupted.

I'm not sure if realizing this and thinking about it will actually help me do better, but it can't hurt to be aware of it.

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From:robin_june
Date:November 19th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
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I have the same problem, and I've found a way to deal with it with regards to the lab protocols that I do for work:

For every time I do a certain protocol (except for the first time,) I write up or I edit & print out a step-by-step checklist for all the parts of it, and then get really persnickety about checking off the steps I've done. That way, when someone walks in, asks me a question, or gives me something else to do, I've got a paper record of where I dropped things with the previous task. It will take a little more time to pick things back up and get back to my previous pace of work, but it works.

Of course, I'm lucky in that my tasks are in a limited number of spaces, the printing for my protocol checklists is free if not conveniently located, and that I can put my protocols on a clipboard and move around to my workstations. Plus, my marked-up checklist becomes the record that I need to keep of how this experiment was done that I need to have for my lab notebook.
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From:tigertoy
Date:November 19th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
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That is a good system when you're doing something that is well enough defined ahead of time to *have* a set protocol, and when checking things off on a clipboard is practical. But very little, if anything, in my life meets both of those criteria.

What I kinda hope I live long enough to get is a direct computer/brain interface that can manage the queue of things I'm trying to do at any given time with computer accuracy, that notes all the stuff I intend to do (I intend a whole lot of stuff, as part of the chaos of my consciousness) and remind me of the next thing I've already intended to do in a way that feels like I'm just remembering it.
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From:starstraf
Date:November 19th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
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Read the first few chapters of David Allen's - Getting things done about doing the 'brain dump' and letting go of the fear of forgetting things.

Here is a bit about it
http://www.whatsthenextaction.com/archive/2006/09/07/do_a_braindump_and_feel_relief/whats_the_next_action
http://mikelmahon.com/2007/07/19/mikes-primer-on-gtd/
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