Passive interruption such as an IM or an email can be ignored until you’re ready to deal with it. But active interruption such as when someone physically comes over and taps you on the shoulder, or calls you into a physical meeting, well, that kind of interruption kills the “productivity buzz.”
Lately, I've been trying to move IM conversations to email, so I can respond to them on my schedule. As usual, Jason explains that the problem pretty well. The real problem is the "active interruption", not the IMs and email. I'm currently in a mix of development, support, management and sometimes IT. So, I'm constantly switching tasks with different people from different departments. The funny thing is that I actually enjoy it and it makes me feel good to help everyone out. But, I really need to spend more of my time planning the future of ACCTivate! and less time fighting the daily fires. It's going to be a difficult transition.