Even though you may be the most organized person in your office, interruptions will still occur. You’ll manage interruptions on a typical day in an average working environment.
Messy emails with no point, chat messages between your colleagues, gossip among teammates, important information you need to read… the list goes on and on.
Another synonyms for interrupt is “intrude”. Personal issues are one of the biggest distractions in the workplace. It’s difficult to forget about your problems while working.
Research shows workers are interrupted anywhere from 4 to 12 times per hour. In the best scenario, it’s just one interruption per 15 minutes.
You can manage interruptions by being completely alone and in a non-disruptive environment. It’s impossible. Having a strategy that allows you to stay focused, even when faced with interruptions, is important. In this article we would interrupting
Stats About Interruption at Work
The Leadership IQ quiz “How Does Your Time Management Skills Stack up?” 71% report being frequently interrupted while working. Only 29% of people report that they can work uninterrupted.
It can be a hassle during your working day. However, the same Research found that interruptions can also affect your feelings about productivity and value. People who are frequently interrupted feel that only 44% of them have left feeling “today was really successful.”
Although it might seem like a lot, when you consider all the distractions (phone calls, chat messages, and coworkers stopping in), it’s a very real number that can be distracting.
It’s not just the frequency of interruptions that causes this. It takes between 10 and 20 minutes to focus on the task at hand, even if you’re interrupted.
With all these interruptions, refocusing and refocusing, your working day can come to an abrupt halt.
How to stop coworkers interrupting you at work
Below are ways and strategies on how to stop coworkers interrupting you at work:
1. Identify your main interruptions at work
First, identify the main distractions that is interrupting your work. Some might be related to your work’s nature, while others could be distractions that you are most susceptible to.
Some distractions are easier to manage than others. This is a list of possible things interrupting you at work.
- Phone calls
- Notifications by email
- Chat apps
- Notifications to App
- If you work remotely, coworkers or family members may stop by.
- Managers interrupting your work and demand something
- Meetings and virtual meetings
- Social media
- Daily news sites
To find out which distraction is causing you the most trouble, rate them from 1-10.
2. Create a system to prevent interruptions from occurring at work
It is best to eliminate as many things interrupting you as possible before they can take you out.
You can’t rely on your self-discipline to deal with interruptions. They often come from outside sources. And even if you have great self-control when you use social media during work hours, you cannot control what other people may ask/demand.
You can only win this battle if you “outsmart” interruptions. This is possible by creating a system and following strict rules. You will need to slowly get used to some of the rules with your coworkers.
This system will allow you to manage interruptions easily and minimize your inner struggle (for example: if you receive an email notification, you torture yourself about whether or not you should read it). These are some systems that you can use to avoid interruptions at work or people interrupting you from work.
Organize your email and manage messages efficiently
While email is an essential tool for work, it can also be a distraction at work. It’s essential because it is the best way to communicate with your team manager, team members, collaborators, and clients.
Your employers will send more messages daily to help manage stress in times of crisis.
Each notification will disrupt your work. You don’t have time to engage in non-urgent communication during a busy day.
Your smartphone’s notifications should be turned off.
Although it’s convenient to be notified about new messages, you don’t need them. You can control distractions by not using your phone. When you have time, you will check your messages and respond accordingly. Even urgent messages can wait until then.
Clients or colleagues who need to reach you quickly should give you your number. But, only use it if they urgently need immediate answers.
Make a schedule to check your email.
It is possible to plan several email sessions during your workday. Each session should not last more than 20 minutes. This time should be scheduled after you have completed a task or two so that you don’t get distracted by the messages.
Although it may seem over-controlling initially, this strategy is great for managing things interrupting you at work.
You should set a time frame for all work-related tasks.
How can you manage interruptions the most efficiently? A schedule will help you recognize distractions.
Suppose you have a list of tasks you must complete during the day. Each task will be given a time frame. To do this, you can use a planner program for Mac. This is the best way to organize your life. If you prefer a paper planner, get one.
You will procrastinate if you have to manage interruptions one after the other. Instead of finishing them in the time, you had planned, you are left with only one or two tasks to do overtime.
When you begin planning, this will occur. You can change the timeframe to fit your needs. The plan will teach you how to handle things interrupting you at work.
You’ll soon realize that you don’t have time for those activities if someone calls or sends you an unrelated email. The plan will remind you of the importance of taking a break if you find yourself scrolling through Instagram for 20 minutes.
Plan a day in advance
Creating a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow is important. These tasks will need to be prioritized.
The phrase “eat the frog” is something you’re familiar with. You’ll feel more relaxed throughout your day if you first do the most difficult and important tasks.
Concentrate on one task at the time
Multitasking is a myth. To manage distractions, plan and complete only one task at a given time. If you do this, your work tasks can become interruptions. If you interrupt one task to concentrate on another, you will be distracted from the next one, and then you’ll find yourself disorganized when you return to it.
According to a 2009 study, the average brain cannot switch between tasks. This means that a portion of our attention is not switched between tasks. We can’t focus on the current task if we do this. Attention residue is the result of this phenomenon. This is a phenomenon called attention residue. We feel guilty about abandoning the task we have started.
What can you do?
After you have completed the previous task, create a plan that leads to the next one. You shouldn’t check your email before you complete a goal in your plan. This emphasizes the importance of prioritizing: don’t put off priorities until later so that you can work on them after you have completed the other goals.
Multitasking is a requirement in your job. Be aware of any attention left over. You can say, “Okay, I’ll move on to the next task. I’ll return to it later.” While I focus on the other task, I will completely focus on it.
Eliminate distractions from the workplace that you have created.
The key answer to the question, “How do you manage interruptions?” is self-control. You will be interrupted by your colleagues with their gossip and messages. You are the most frequent source of interruptions. Sometimes, you’re the one who picks up the phone to have an irrelevant conversation. Reddit is the place you spend your time when you are working on a task.
This self-sabotage must be stopped.
Schedule breaks. This is the time for calls, social media and online forums. It also includes sandwiches, coffee, and any other activities that are not work-related.
These breaks should be limited in duration. While you may allow yourself to indulge in distractions while you wait, you should not extend your time spent on them. For a quick chat by phone, five minutes is more than sufficient.
These breaks can be used more productively. How about taking a walk in the park instead of spending your time scrolling through Instagram? When you return, you’ll feel more relaxed and focused.
Meditation or relaxation techniques are also options. You don’t need to use social media. You’ll find more productive ways to use your time if you embark on a “distraction detox”. Here’s a guideline to help you create an uninterrupted personal day.
A no-interruptions personal day
You can use a no-interruptions day to help you achieve your personal goals. The same concept applies, but the goal is to work on the most important goals and projects you want in your personal life.
You can schedule a weekend with no interruptions and the following themes:
- Creative day: Innovating, creating, and writing down new ideas
- Project day: Work on complicated personal projects (remodelling a house …)
- Research day: To conduct Research on a particular topic or to gain as much knowledge as you can
- Planning day: Planning your Future or Financials, Setting Goals etc.
- Thinking day: Thinking About Life, New Conceptions, Connecting with You.
Open your calendar and schedule a no-interruptions day. Then, decide what work you want to dedicate the day too. You don’t need a phone to do meaningful work.
How to quickly recover from work interruptions
They will still happen, even if you try to minimize distractions and interruptions. They are inevitable. We now know that interruptions can be very disruptive. Once you are removed from your workflow, it takes a lot of willpower to get back on track.
This is a great tip for quickly recovering from an interruption: If you realize that you are going to be interrupted, you should make sure you place your work somewhere in the middle. You need to be able to get back on track quickly.
When interrupted, the usual response is to finish the chunk and then start working on the next chunk. If possible, take a few minutes to finish the work and allow the interruption to pass.
The problem is, you won’t know where to go next when you return to work. Getting back in the flow is difficult when you’ve been interrupted.
On the other hand, if you only have half of a sentence, you can quickly start to complete it.
This should lead to the second and the third sentences, and you will be able to fall back into the flow.
If you feel interrupted or see interruptions coming, you should think of the best hook to get you back on track and in the flow as quickly as possible. Unfinished work may be the best option in this instance.
Your job as a manager is to reduce distractions at work.
Managers often feel they can interrupt their employees whenever they want, but this is not the attitude of a boss who wants his team to be highly productive.
Every boss has the primary task of creating a work environment where everyone can perform their tasks in peace.
Great bosses or managers invest a lot of energy in improving people’s lives and the environment to minimize distractions and interruptions.
They also experiment with new tools and approaches, such as no interruption days, to create the most productive environment possible. This productive environment improves employee performance.
These methods must not be limited to blocking social media. This can often lead to negative results. This must be fun and done in a team spirit.
Remember. Interruptions are the biggest killers of workflow. This is the most productive state for humans.
It takes a lot of willpower to get back on track when someone or something interrupts your work, or you are interrupted by someone. Every interruption requires not only time but also willpower.
One of the most important time management skills is handling interruptions. You now have tools and ideas for work to to stop things from interrupting.
These will help you to avoid interruptions in your daily life. If you’re a manager, include your team in their working days.