Jeff Nolan writes here about all of the interruptions that we have during our work day now. I thought it was mildly ironic that his entry popped up in my Newz Crawler alert window at the same time an instant message came in and a text message hit my Trio. I'm almost to the point where I'm going to set aside two hours a day and just disconnect from all of my networks in order to actually get some work done.
I think what we really need is some sort of interruption pipeline software where everything that can interrupt us flows through one channel and we can prioritize the interruptions. Over time an interruption hierarchy could be built up so, say, my boss could still IM me, but if the pipeline got too deep and I was working on too many other things, I would appear offline to all of my friends. Then, as I got some of the high priority work done I would slowly appear back online to people. This sort of a sliding scale would ensure that we get the work done that we need to do, but that when we have less to do then others can still contact us.