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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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11. The Telephone

When you begin to collect data about the quality of work time, your attention is automatically focused on one of the principal causes of interruption, the incoming telephone call. It’s nothing to field 15 calls in a day. It may be nothing, but because of the associated reimmersion time, it can use up most of that day. When the day is over and you’re wondering where the time went, you can seldom even remember who called you or why. Even if some of the calls were important, they may not have been worth interrupting your flow. But who’s got the nerves to wait out a ringing phone? The very thought of it makes you tense between the shoulders.

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