10 Ways to Manage Interruptions

You want to get your work done. But you also don’t want to ignore others as they pop into your cubicle to catch up on the weekend’s activities. Curbing interruptions and distractions will help you improve your time management. Follow these ten tips in communicating to others your need to better manage your time.

  1. Stand up when someone walks in your office. It will send a message that you don’t have time for casual visiting and helps them get to the point of their issue more quickly.
  2. When interrupted, state right away you only have x-minutes.
  3. Turn off all notification sounds for e-mail and social media. This includes the flashing icon, the annoying balloon down in the corner of your screen and any sounds that “ding” you.
  4. If you use MS Outlook, program it to open to your Calendar/Task view vs. your E-mail Inbox. This will help you focus on the projects that need your attention instead of having your day dictated by e-mail.
  5. Set up “rules” in Outlook to presort unimportant e-mails into file folders. E-mails from vendors, airlines, and hotels are never important enough to interrupt your focus. Presort them into a folder which you can check at your leisure. Have another folder titled “To Read” for those monthly newsletters you receive from professional associations or from your favorite Productivity Expert named Audrey.  If you receive notices from Social Media such as Facebook or Twitter, these can be presorted into another folder so they never end up in your Inbox.
  6. Ever make eye contact with someone who sees it as an opportunity to stop in and catch up with you? It’s never a good idea to be facing foot traffic. Rearrange your office furniture so your shoulder is facing your office entrance. You’ll have significantly less distractions.
  7. During meetings, follow an agenda with a timer. It tells others you’re serious about running an efficient meeting and helps to finish on time. They’ll appreciate it more than you can imagine.
  8. Signal to others when you don’t want to be interrupted. It’s okay to have “working hours” as well as “visiting hours”. If you have a door, shut it. If you’re in a cubicle have some fun with yellow “Caution” tape hung across your entrance. Anything to let others know that you prefer not to be interrupted during specific times.
  9. Ignore others by wearing big, bulky head phones while working on your computer (just kidding!). However, if you choose to wear ear buds as you listen to music be sure you can still hear a co-worker’s voice should they need your attention.
  10. Keep your personal cell phone off during working hours. Don’t even put it on vibrate or silent. Shut it off. Period. Otherwise you’ll be tempted to check and re-check for missed calls. You can always check it during breaks and lunch.

This article was created by the team at Organized Audrey. This material may be reprinted or reposted, but please credit the author and our website: organizedaudrey.com.

For booking or more information, please call Audrey at 952-944-9470, or visit her website www.OrganizedAudrey.com.

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