8 tips to prevent work interruptions
8th Oct 2017
Coming into work with a few pages of things to do, by the end of the day, you find yourself with two things crossed off. This can be a nightmare for deadlines or meetings. Firstly, try to pinpoint what takes up most of your time, keep an Interruptions tally. What are you spending most of your time on? Are you constantly checking your phone or is there one colleague who keeps stopping to chat about the weather?
It’s time to take precautions and avoid all interruptions:
1. Block all Digital Contact
This can be tricky depending on your job. If you’ve a work phone that you need constantly on, revert to sending an ‘out of office’ text or email for a few hours or use your voicemail to screen calls. This gives you time to get your ‘ducks in a row’ and figure out what is a priority.
Although we all maintain work etiquette, sometimes we must say no to people’s requests. Reschedule for another time or let them know it’s not a priority but it’s on the to-do list.
3. Create the right environment
Ensure your current environment facilitates your needs. Do you need absolute silence or some headphones with a soothing playlist? If you need to isolate yourself, make everyone aware that you are unavailable for the next few hours to avoid disturbances. Email everyone in the office that you’ll be unavailable for the next few hours.
4. Pre-prepared body language
You’ve sent the email around, told everyone you’re busy and one person still doesn’t listen. They begin to walk over to you. Be prepared to have a working body language: head down, typing fast on the computer, earphones in or whatever your job entails and say one of the following lines:
“Check back with me in an hour – I’m busy”
“Email me your query – I’m busy”
“Can you send me a text/email with the details, I’m still swamped”
5. Pre-prepare your search engine
Sometimes when you look at Google, you can’t help but get distracted and look up random things which are not relevant. Stop the procrastination and download Momentum, a chrome adds on. It has a customised interface which includes a beautiful landscape photo, inspirational quote of the day and a to-do-list. You'll answer the question, ‘What is your main focus for today?’.
6. Turn off notifications
You’ve organised all your co-workers and digital contacts but are still receiving notifications which can be distracting. Aeroplane mode on your phone and turning off email or calendar notifications online.
Another chrome extension add-on tool to prevent interruptions while you’re working online. ‘StayFocused’ increases your productivity by limiting your time on time-wasting websites. This nifty tool allows you to directly block certain websites for as many hours needed… most likely social media platforms. To allow you to focus on what you need to get done without distractions.
If you’re a serial tab opener like me, it can often slow down your system. Web pages have long load times, it might be beneficial to download this Chrome extension which will prevent interruptions like slow loading web pages. ‘The Great Suspender’ will suspend unused tabs or tabs which have been inactive for a long period to free up the resources for the tab you are working on.
I’ve covered externally to digital internal distractions. Ensure you’re efficient in work with these simple tips. If you’re still not focused on your work, maybe you’ve a lack of interest or the role isn’t right for you anymore. If so, please review all our job vacancies or get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org .