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Interruptions - Implement These Changes and Decrease the Disruption

Posted by Meggin McIntosh
Meggin McIntosh
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on Saturday, 26 February 2011
in Productivity

If you find that interruptions are causing you significant loss of productivity, then it is time that you made some changes. Wishing that the interruptions would stop won't do you any good. Fuming about them won't do you any good. Complaining about them won't do any good. So, I guess that means you'll need to make some changes. Here are five (plus a bonus) that will make a different right away.

  1. If your interruptions come from people walking by, then either close your door, or if you are in a high traffic area, figure out if there is some way to indicate that you are not to be disturbed or find a different place to work - at least part of the time.
  2. If your interruptions are because you are essentially inviting people into your work space because you have candy on your desk...well, what can I say? Get the candy off your desk and begin to make it known that you heard that candy on someone's desk increases the number of times they are interrupted by 80% and reduces their productivity by 2 or more hours a day. Note: I actually just made that up, but you can say you heard this statistic...because you just did. And while I may have just invented that statistic, based on my experience working with people all over North America, I would say it is not far off.
  3. Stand up when people come into your workspace. Conversations that are held standing up are much shorter than those that are held sitting down. And interestingly, if you need to get off the telephone, standing up helps that happen, as well.
  4. Tell people the truth. If you are busy, tell them you are busy. Physically hold up your hand when someone starts coming into your workspace and say, "Hang on. I am right in the middle of something. Could I get back to you later today?"
  5. Check to see if you are co-dependent in some way. If you love being the go-to person, then you are encouraging interruptions and you will need to begin to help others take responsibility.

Bonus idea: Although this next idea is one that is used in elementary schools, I love it for adults, too. "Three before me" is a phrase that teachers of young children say. The idea is that children are to ask three other people before they come to their teachers with a question. You could install that notion with the people in your life, too. Please check with "three before me," and then, and only then, come to me if you have not been able to find a suitable response.

And for hundreds of free productivity tips like this, just join other around the globe who access the Top Ten Productivity Tips - here's the place to learn more: ** http://TopTenProductivityTips.com

(c) 2010 Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D. | The Ph.D. of Productivity(tm)

Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D. works with smart people who want to consistently keep their emphasis on excellence.


Natalie Tiras
Natalie Tiras
Natalie is the co-owner of CenterPoint Corporate Services. As a successful busin
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Natalie Tiras Monday, 28 March 2011

Meggin - these are great, simple tips that we need to be reminded of during our business day. Thank you for sharing them. I love the new statistic too! Thanks for your sense of humor! Great post!

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