Continuous Interruptions

How many times do you get interrupted in an hour’s time during the work day?  Take out a piece of paper and pencil and keep a tick sheet for an hour counting every time that you are interrupted.  Some of those interruptions will come directly from people walking in to your area or office.  But chances are, a lot of those interruptions come from technology (e.g. email, phone calls, texts, notifications).  Technology is not a bad thing.  Technology can make our lives easier to achieve great things.  But it can also make it harder to achieve great things.  Let’s say that you get interrupted 10 times in an hour.  It might take you 1-2 minutes to get back on track even if you ignore or dismiss the interruption.  That is 10-20 minutes that you have lost.

Interruptions can make it very difficult to focus and think deeply.  If you have scheduled time in your busy day to work on a project of some type, be sure to remove distractions and turn off the dings, pings, and rings that will derail your thinking.  You might even consider putting a “do not disturb” sign on your door.  Blocking out distractions will increase your focus and produce better quality results.  You will also find that you will accomplish the task/project quicker than if you start and stop and start again when distractions interfere.  Now, how are you going to spend that extra 10-20 minutes that you have?

Contributed by Todd Musig, Productivity Practice, FranklinCovey

My Success Story – Wow!

Wow! What a difference!  I had no idea how email controlled me.  Now, I control it by setting time to review it.  I removed all notifications in Microsoft Outlook that would distract me or tempt to look at my email.  This task alone has saved me time.  Talking with my supervisor about Q2 helped him see what interruptions were vying for my time.  He is aware and on-board with getting interruptions in control.  Thanks for this course!!

Contributed by a 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity participant

Multi-tasking is not quality accomplishment! But there is hope!

In this NY Times article, continued research and results around the detrimental impacts of distractions and constant interruptions.  The GOOD NEWS is the research is clear that we are able to do something about it, but re-training our brain!!!!

Am I causing someone else’s Quadrant 1’s & 3’s????

Being productive means being “intentional” and very self aware…And so, I need to examine my own motives and behaviors to stop putting other people into Quadrant 1 & 3.  Am I creating and holding an unproductive meeting?  Am I asking for people to do things “right now”, when I may not need a report or project for a couple of weeks out?  Am I waiting until the last moment to delegate or to even ask a peer for help?  Am I the one stepping into someones office or texting and saying, “Do you have 30 seconds”?  which of course can turn into 30 minutes? 

The more I become aware of (or admit) my tendency to “quad 1 or 3” others, and then THINK before acting, the more I can change my behavior and think about how NOT to throw others into an unhealthy and sometimes useless state of urgency.  If each of us takes “accountability” of thinking through the Time Matrix framework and how it effects each other, the more a team or family gel and then can move towards real, high quality accomplishment of what is really important.

Contributed by Kory Kogon, FranklinCovey Global Productivity Practice Leader