It makes me wish there were some rigorous way that we could talk about these states, the problems they cause and the means we have of dealing with them. Some kind of [pattern language](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_language), or indeed a calculus of action and organization.
Once you pare away the tickler files, electric labellers and Californian style, [GTD](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GTD) gets close to this. [Havi Brooks](http://twitter.com/havi) of [The Fluent Self](http://www.fluentself.com) is also doing some great thinking in this area, understanding it as an aspect of Yoga. She came up with the term "Distractor Mouse Mode" that Bice wrongly credits me for.
I guess you've also got [Edward de Bono](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_de_Bono), the [life hackers](http://lifehacker.com/). Also the authors of [SICP](http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/), who claim that computer science is the first tentative steps of a primitive civilization toward a calculus of process.
There's got to be something above the level of source code and staplers, but below the level of spirituality, something that we can reason rigorously about. Theologians reach amazing levels of precision discussing the inner nature of God, why can we not do the same when thinking about dealing with email?
As it is, De Bono has got his hats, the life hackers fold up index cards, no one can agree on what a pattern language is, Brooks uses kooky language deliberately and maybe one out of ten people I speak to about GTD agrees with me.
Still, I get the feeling that something is happening.