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How to Manage Interruptions

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 12 Jan 2011 Comments: 0

Do you really know the cost?

By Michael Caron, President, Northbound Sales Training

Interruptions are one of the biggest time suckers for most. Did you know that if you are focussing in the middle of a task that it takes 6 minutes to get back to the same level of focus as before the interruption? If you get interrupted just 5 times in an hour, you’re only working at 50% productivity!

Here’s how to help stop your interruptions from sucking your precious time.

  1. Make it clear when you can be interrupted. Put a sign on your door asking only to interrupt if urgent or if you’re in an open work environment use an orange pylon to indicate it.
  2. If you work in an office setting or in your home with other people around, turn your desk to the wall. People will be less likely to start chatting if they don’t make eye contact.
  3. When someone does interrupt you, standup!  People tend to get to the point quicker if they’re standing.  Once they sit down, you know you’re in for a long chat!
  4. Get in the habit of asking people how urgent something is. Ask to get back to them if it’s important but not super urgent (but make sure you do or you’ll lose credibility).
  5. Ask people who you deal with often, to make a list of items to cover and set a quick meeting (or regular meeting) to cover off most things at one time. 6. When you are on “focus time” turn off all gadgets. It sounds productive to multi-task but it is far less productive actually. Focus on one thing at one time!
You and your team can learn dozens of other proven time management strategies with Northbound’s Goal Aligned™ Time Management workshop. Graduates report an average productivity increase of 12%. For more information or to arrange a complimentary mini workshop for your team, contact us.