The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day and seventy percent of them have nothing to do with work.
- W. Edwards Deming
1. Turn off technology at certain times of the day. When it's really important to focus - for example, when budgets need to be reviewed, or a report needs to be presented - it can be useful to turn off technology, even if it is simply for half an hour. The pings, buzzes and beeps become a distractor when we are in tasks that require deep focus.
2. Chunk tasks or common activities - When we are having to swtich tasks frequently, fo example, moving from big picture work, to detailed work, it can be disruptive to our focus, flow and brain. Many professionals find it useful to chunk common tasks and activities. So for example, chunking all finaincal related tasks at one time (budgets, reports etc) rather than moving between financials and something that requires more creativity - for example, a presentation.
3. Let others know those periods when you are not available - Depending on your work flow and office, there may be periods of the day which are earmarked for more quiet time. In one of my roles it was first hing in the morning. Our office was open for staff, and offially we were not open to the public for half an hour. This half an hour of early morning focus became an essential part of high performance for us, and it is still a habit I practice today, more than a decade later.
What are some other strategies you might want to employ in managing interruptions?
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