Like distractions, you must manage interruptions for efficiency. It isn’t a piece of cake, but it’s totally worth investing in it.
I know it isn’t simple, but unless you figure out a way to manage interruptions for efficiency, you’ll feel stuck.
While both break our concentration and focus, there’s a crucial difference between distractions and interruptions.
In general, we get distracted by things we can fully control.
It’s all up to us if we:
- Have a cluttered desk.
- Turn on ALL phone notifications.
- Check our email every 5 minutes.
Distractions are habits we choose to keep even though we know they aren’t good for our productivity.
Some of us simply don’t know better; others don’t take such habits too seriously, or even, don’t feel motivated enough to change them.
But what about interruptions? Is it possible to deal with them the same way?
How interruptions disrupt
Maybe you’re luckier than me, but only for a short period in my professional life, I was able to use headphones in the office.
Even though the reasons were valid (social interaction and easier communication), not being able to wear them wasn’t good for my productivity. Mainly if you work in an open space.
When you can’t close your door or work in a meeting room, you’re open to all kinds of interruptions.
It’s indeed a lot easier to communicate, but you also have to deal with all the rest, including:
- People coming and going.
- Colleagues on the phone.
- Music from “neighbors.”
None of them are bad things per se, but they can disrupt your concentration very quickly.
Depending on their frequency, interruptions may steal a precious chunk of your time without you realizing it.
Every single time your attention is moved away from what you’re doing, you waste at least a couple of minutes.
First, because of the interruption itself. Second, because you need to reconnect with your tasks.
The time wasted with interruptions during the day is a lot more than you think.How to prevent interruptions from sabotaging your efficiency. #MindfulPlanning #coaching Click To Tweet
Measure the damage
Have you ever tracked time?
If you haven’t done it yet, I highly recommend you try it for at least a week.
During the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You we use it a lot.
One of the answers you get from time tracking is how big the damage of interruptions is.
It’s common to see people leaving such “breaks” out of their measurement at first because they aren’t related to any performed tasks.
But soon enough they realize there’s an enormous amount of time not logged in their tracking sheet or device.
Where did all this time go to?
Once they add all the “drop-offs” to their list, it all becomes crystal clear.
Manage interruptions for efficiency
Putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your desk isn’t an option. Neither at work or home.
Yet, it’s still possible to apply realistic solutions to keep interruptions under control.
3 of them are:
- Plan your day mindfully.
- Overestimate your time spent.
- Speak up.
Plan your day mindfully
Don’t just add tasks to your calendar for the sake of it.
Take into consideration the times when you:
- Get more phone calls.
- Need to attend meetings.
- Must provide support.
Overestimate your time spent
You know it takes you only 15 minutes to finish a task, but you deal with many interruptions during the day.
Block 30 to 40 minutes in your calendar for that item.
The key to successful planning is staying realistic.
If you’re drowning in work and someone requests your attention for a superficial matter, let them know you are busy.
Don’t cut them off, just tell them you’ll stop by their desk once you’re done.
You can even have a short break together later on. But for now, keep it as brief as possible.
Why managing interruptions matter
We’re in this together to improve our efficiency.
It isn’t about working endless hours for the sake of completing tasks.
There are more important things in life you may be too busy to realize right now.
Find out how to manage interruptions to be more productive. #MindfulPlanning #coaching Click To Tweet
Real success is only achievable when there’s balance.
52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You
I’m hosting a 52-week productivity challenge on my closed Facebook Group.
You can read everything about the challenge here.
How the 52-week productivity challenge works
First of all, grab a copy of the list 52 Things That Are Killing Your Productivity .
After signing up, you’ll be invited to join my closed Facebook group.
On the group, I’ll share daily prompts during the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You.
I’ll guide you through a brand-new topic each week.
From Monday through Friday, you’ll learn how you can use Mindful Planning™ to:
- Become more efficient
- Save time
- Manage stress
- Achieve your goals
You can start the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You at any moment of the year.
And you choose whether to follow every single week or to focus on your personal pain points.
If you miss anything, you can always refer to older posts for catch-up or review.
All that FOR FREE!
See you at the challenge
The method I apply to the challenge is exactly the same one I use with my clients: Mindful Planning™.
It’s a 5-step method you can use to all aspects of your life become more productive one day at a time without added stress.
Come and join the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You today.
I’m looking forward guiding you towards a successful year and beyond!