I just read an article from the Harvard Business Review entitled "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" and thought it was excellent. I highly recommend reading the whole article (it's not long) but here are a few "policies worth promoting" from the article:
1. Maintain meeting discipline.
Among other things, this includes starting and ending meetings at a "precise" time and insisting that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting. Amen!
2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day.
Boy, do I agree with this one! When did we get to the point that people must be available NOW, regardless of when now is? I understand that our world is often a 24/7 venture when it comes to technology, but if we never give people a chance to "turn off" what results are we really creating?
3. Encourage renewal.
Again, I really believe in this one. People arrive at the workplace after perhaps being up half the night dealing with a problem, eat lunch at their desks, and often never move until they finally leave the office hours after the normal end of the day (again, due to some problem or another). We all need to truly stop and decompress every now and then. I took up meditation several years ago and find that in 20 minutes I can feel more alert and focused than I did before I unplugged. Whatever way you find that works to help you get some distance and take a real break a couple of times a day, I think it's essential and am a firm believer in the power of renewal.
There's a lot more good stuff in the article and I hope you'll take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It sure rang a bell for me!