I write books and develop courses. Over the years, I've also spent time leading projects and managing others, without giving up the individual contributor responsibilities. Those individual contributor responsibilities have always suffered.
I've always imagined it was a case of 'leverage'.
That is, if I have to choose between an action that benefits a whole team, or one that furthers an individual goal, I will obviously get more bang for my buck if I choose the one that benefits the whole team.
And, if I am a member of a team, I don't want to be the one holding the 'hot potatoe' -- whenever I get it, I want to handle it and pass it on so things can keep moving. Towards that end, I let 'hot potatoes' interrupt whatever I am doing.
But, maybe the problem isn't as logical as that. Maybe it is a focusing problem, a flow problem. Individual projects get done best when you can 'get into flow'. Once you assume responsibility for others, you may never get into flow again.
What are your thoughts? How do you handle this?