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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 Learning

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. Turn your desk to the wall. People will be less likely to come in if they don’t make eye contact.
  3. When someone comes in, standup!
  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™ workshop. Graduates report an average productivity increase of 12%. For more information or to arrange a complimentary workshop for your team, contact us by email at [email protected].