How often are you interrupted at work?
A 2018 study by the company RescueTime revealed that 98% of workers say they are interrupted at least a few times a day, and over 50% said that they were interrupted frequently throughout the day.
Other studies show that when interrupted, it can take over 23 minutes to fully recover your focus, and that interruptions make you twice as likely to make a mistake.
If interruptions are such a big problem, what can you do to stop them?
In previous videos, I talked about how you can combat interruptions from colleagues or staff, and how to prevent email from being a distraction. I’ll link to those videos below. But what about other interruptions?
First, you need to know exactly is interrupting you. You might want to consider keeping an interruption log. For two weeks, keep track of:
- What the interruption was about
- The source of the interruption (a colleague asking a “quick question,” a client telephone call, social media notification, etc.)
- How long the interruption lasted
- Was the interruption valid, or could it have waited for another time?
Armed with the information about what interrupts or distracts you the most about your workday, you can start to implement some strategies to combat them. I’ll talk more about them in my next video.
If you want help to limit or eliminate interruptions during your work day, please contact me.
To see more on productivity:
- 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
- Are You the Source of Your Interruptions? [video]
- Sticking to Your Communications Policies [video]
- Stop Co-Worker Interruptions [video]