Interesting piece in the New York Times on the effect of interruptions caused by email, IM etc.
28% of the day handling non-urgent unimportant things, and 15% of the day spent searching for information. Some time ago I started switching off email during particularly busy times, like when I have a deadline to meet. No need to close Outlook, just disconnect from the server:
It is interesting to see how many threads that I would normally have leapt straight into resolve themselves satisfactorily without any input from me. And it has helped me learn where I can actually add most value to my team, versus where I can step back and delegate a bit more.
Go ahead, give it a try, but at the end of it all do remember to reconnect again though!