I cannot put it any better than Donald Knuth, who writes on his website, "Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. "
Knuth also provides the following quote from Umberto Eco: "I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages."
I found these quotes and the super-quote containing all of them on Neil Stephenson's website. Reading them made a few firework go off in my head (damnit, I tried several times to write that without using a cliche and I couldn't think of anything quickly enough), first, because the term "continuous partial attention" was a zinger description. Second, it took many thoughts that I've been juggling and wrapped them into a perfect little paragraph, better-said than I could have without strained effort.
I will continue to try to let things and people wait until I've accomplished what I need and want to. Civilization has proceeded in its jerky stop-animation for thousands of years without me. I need to concentrate on myself and work for it.