No matter how hard we try we can’t completely get rid of them.
And unfortunately a two-minute interruption does not result in just two minutes of lost work time. Studies have shown that it can take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to reorient yourself to the work you were doing before the interruption. When you multiply this time by all the interruptions during a day, you can see why you’re not as productive as you’d like.
There are numerous reasons why we are interrupted and even more blogs posts on how to minimize them. Here is a fantastic article on the topic from mindtools.com: mindtools.com-Managing Interruptions
One suggestion I really like from the article is that you keep an “interrupters worksheet.” Knowing why you are interrupted is the first step in preventing them.
The article points out that the constant interruptions may be the result of poor processes, poor delegation, or employee’s not taking responsibility. So, the interruption is merely a symptom of other problems that need to be conquered.
I also found tips six and seven in the article to be the easiest to implement and that can have an immediate impact. These are simply indicating your “available” and “unavailable” times, and letting people know when they can schedule time with you. You can implement this by using a whiteboard on the door of your office like one of my clients as shown in the picture above.
Ultimately, avoiding interruptions is not a hopeless undertaking.
There are simple, effective strategies that you can implement today that will have an immediate impact.
If you have other ideas, call me at 248-455-6500 or email me a firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your ideas, and I’ll make sure they are posted.