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