A short NY Times piece published today tackles productivity problems in the modern workplace. To summarise, they are: multitasking (bad, work sequentially instead), email (check it less, process it more), and long, paralysing to-do lists. One productivity expert actually recommends that companies should restrict internet access for their employees:
A compulsion to surf the Internet and check email stirs up a “desire to be in the know, to not be left out, that ends up taking up a lot of our time”–at the expense of getting things done, Mr. Ellwood said. If he had his way, he would cut off Internet access–but not email–for a vast majority of employees, and set up dedicated workstations for people to use when they really needed the Web for their work.
Yikes! Obviously Mr. Ellwood doesn’t read Lifehacker.