With all the great technology to make the world more productive, it seems there are more ways to be interrupted than ever! Here are 3 tips to help you get your work done:
1) Create your own barriers – If you don’t ask your co-workers to stop invading your space, why would they stop invading your space? I think the key is to start by ‘asking for an inch’. For example, why not ask for an hour and half of interrupted time on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.? Close your door, turn off your phone and email and get some real focused work done. If one time slot seems to give too much grief, try another time slot or try a shorter period.
2) Be respectfully persistent – Old habits are hard to break and you have likely subliminally trained your time robber co-workers to interrupt you. It could take multiple times of asking and reminding them before they change their habit. Eventually though, they will figure out to interrupt you at 9:15 a.m. and get what need from you for the next two hours. They might also figure out that their issue is life-threateningly urgent and it could wait until 11:00 a.m. Heck they might even take responsibility and do the task on their own!
3) Practice what you preach – Are you a big interrupter and time and space robber yourself? Do you just barge into other people’s work by phone, text, or in person to get what you might need without respecting their space? Would you consider making a deal where you respect and give them their time and space in exchange for them respecting you and your work? A mutually respectful arrangement is so much easier to get support on, isn’t it?
4) Bonus tip – There is another good way to get yourself focused on your work without interruptions – move to a place and time with no interruptions. Is there a place you can hide away for an hour or two? If asking the people around in the place you are now isn’t working, why not leave it for a better one?
How do you think I found the time and space to get this article written?