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June 25, 2011

Take Charge of Interruptions

No matter how good you are at focusing, between emails, voicemails, text messages, websurfing, social media and co-workers, you will get interrupted.  If you allow all interruptions, they will control your day.  Do you ever leave work at the end of the day feeling like you touched a bunch of tasks but never completely finished anything?   If so, here are some tips to help you control the interruptions so you can be positively productive! 

  1. Plan for Interruptions. Allow time in your schedule to handle interruptions. If you schedule your day too tightly or rigidly, you will not be able to make up time lost to interruptions. 
  2. Identify Why You Are Being Interrupted. Who interrupts you and when? Do you see a pattern? The same person asking the same questions? A call from a friend at the same time each day? Eliminate the interruption before it occurs. Consider additional training for the employee who asks too many questions. Call your friend at night.  
  3. Go Somewhere Else. Close your door. Leave your cubicle and go to an empty office or conference room.   
  4. Ask people to postpone routine matters. Set aside time each day for dealing with them and encourage people to meet with you during that time. Make sure everyone knows when your door is open and you are receptive to interruptions.   
  5. Do not encourage socializing.   Remove the “bait” from your workspace (candy dishes, gadgets and other things that might easily attract visitors.) 
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