Are you the source of your own interruptions?
In this series of videos, I have been talking about how to limit interruptions. We’ve talked about limiting interruptions from clients and colleagues, setting and sticking to a communications policy, and not taking unplanned phone calls. Those are all external interruptions – interruptions that come from other people.
But what about when you are the source of your own interruptions?
For example, you are in the middle of working on something and you suddenly remember that you wanted your spouse to stop on their way home from work to pick something up, so you interrupt yourself to send them a text message.
Or you’re working on a focused project and you decide to do a quick post on social media and then go down the rabbit hole of looking at your feed.
Or you’ve scheduled time on your calendar to work on a big project for one client and you suddenly remember something you were supposed to do for another client, so you switch gears entirely and start working on the second client’s case.
If you notice that you are the one interrupting yourself during the work day, the first thing you want to do is try to examine the reason why you are allowing yourself to be interrupted.
- Is it because this project just bores you?
- Are the piles of work on your desk distracting you?
- Are you afraid that if you don’t switch gears right now you’ll forget to send that text to your spouse or do the work for the second client?
- Are you avoiding the project or task because you think it is difficult?
- Are you tackling the project at a time of day that doesn’t work for you?
- Is today just not the right day to tackle this project – maybe you didn’t get enough sleep or you aren’t feeling your best?
Once you determine the root cause of allowing yourself to be distracted, you can start determining how to address it.
If you want help limiting interruptions during your work day, please contact me.
More on productivity:
- 5 Tips for Improving Your Email Messages
- Improving Your Email Communication
- Delegating Tasks to Technology
- Do You Have Plans and Goals for the Future?
- Do This Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions
- Using Your Task List to Create Systems
- Creating Your Task Capture System
- Get Everything Out of Your Head
- Are You Distracted at Work? Close Those Open Loops!
- Choosing the Right Time for Focused Work