You are working on a major project and all you have is a couple of hours to finish. Everything is going just fine when your boss walks in and drops off some paperwork. Then your co worker comes over next to have a little chat about the next week’s meeting. Once he is gone, you try to concentrate once again and your phone rings and email dings. There is disruption one after the other and you just can’t work in peace. And finally when you begin to work on your new project, all your new thoughts and ideas have gone. But does that mean you can never work without interruptions? No! There are several ways in which you can avoid this interruptive obstacles . Some of the best tips are enlisted here.
How to Manage Interruptions at Work or Workplace Distractions?
The following mentioned are few tips on how to avoid distractions and ways to stay focused to concentrate on work and get job done.
1. Speak to all your colleagues:
Speaking to your colleagues is always helpful. It is important to let them know that you will be busy, colleagues speak to you through email, let them know that you have a deadline to complete and are currently busy with that. All their paper work will be completed tomorrow because of the work you have to finish. If you are working in a very big office, speak to people like your boss, your assistant and your immediate office mates. That will make them aware and you will be less disturbed while working.
2. Use the power of technology:
Always take the time to use technology. It could be a very smart way to let others know that you are busy for the day and need not deal with distractions. So do take advantage of the customized technology. Change your Out of Office response to say that emails will be taken care the next day. Block out the time on your outdoor calendar and write that you are unavailable for the current project since you already have something else to take care of. Non urgent messages may also sit in the voice mail for a couple of hours. So if someone really needs you, they will have to come search for you.
3. Avoid in a smarter way:
It is rude to shut people down who are approaching you. But you have work to finish! So what do you do? The smartest way to avoid a situation like this is by being polite. Say something like “Hey! You know what? I have a project to submit by the end of today and I have chunks left to do. Is it okay if I contact you tomorrow? I will be having all the time in the world then.
4. Train one of your partners:
If you train one of your partners, it would actually be effective. If you have a lot of work to finish and they already have an idea, they can help you for a bit in the middle and then go back to work. That would solve half your problems and take away most of the stress. A lot of people have done and you should do it as well. This is one of the best ways to tackle work stress and interruptions at work.
5. Overestimate the time you will really need:
This tip will really work if you have deadlines to meet. If you honestly think you would need a particular amount of your time, tell yourself you would need a lot more time. In that way you will stay focused and also be able to complete all your work without any stop. Your mind would be entirely focused and you won’t feel the need to do anything else apart from getting the job done.
6. What to do when you can’t refocus after interruption?
Sometimes refocusing can get really difficult if you have been interrupting a couple of times. Maybe you are in the edge of getting disturbed or felt like you just had a fresh idea. But all of that disappeared. If that is the case then don’t force it to come out. Staying focused at work is a good option, but sometimes allow yourself to take a break for a minute. Have some coffee and walk about for a bit. Space is often needed for you to begin thinking again and maybe you should, if you want to start afresh instead of just sitting at the desk trying to remember what you forgot.
7. How to deal with a writing problem?
If you have been writing something for a while and someone comes to disturb you, it can be very frustrating to come back to normal. So instead of expecting to pick yourself up right there and start afresh, keep a few minutes aside so that you can go back and re read the last couple of paragraphs you have written. So use the time in order to make all the mental notes of what you were thinking and what you need to move on next and allow them to guide you back on the track.
8. What happens when you are brainstorming?
Now this is a normal occurrence and happens quite often. You have been working on a final project and then something like an urgent email arrives. What should you do next? Simply give yourself 20 seconds approx and jot down a couple of notes and keywords that come into your mind. If you find it helpful, then include arrows to connect them. This will make your memory job and hopefully you will remember all things soon enough. It doesn’t have to look pretty as far as it makes sense to you.
9. Split the day and set some targets:
This method can really help you deal with interruptions like any other professional. Keep yourself miles out of the danger zone by setting all the targets that you need for the rest of the day. You will probably need to do this for tasks you really don’t feel like finishing. For example sending uncomfortable emails by 9am. Then completing all meetings by 12 pm and finally say pleasant things to your annoying boss by 2 am. Set goals like this and we are sure finishing things will become so much easier for you.
10. Plan out all those interruptions:
Planning out interruptions is an effective way to deal with them in the future. Effective planning is the cornerstone of a productive life. Planning for interruptions might seem a little impossible but do try this idea and there will be a change felt for sure. When you begin your work session, simply take a piece of paper and draw out some of the distractions that could pop up while you are working. Put a tick mark on each of them after the distraction has gone. Seems quite simple right? It will be. Remember that you have enough power if you can handle interruptions like this. Getting distracted easily leads to loss of productivity.
11. Attack all forms of procrastination:
This will also be helpful if you give it a shot. It is safe to say that several of us welcome far more distractions than we should But why? Because we are all chronic procrastinators and distractions give us a new excuse to just slack off without being lazy. So make list of all the works to do, on priority basis from important to less urgent tasks and complete them accordingly without getting distracted. If you need to complete your work, there should be no distractions so avoid procrastination.
12. Start off with the main point:
When you have got distracted, get to the point of it right away. This might not work for everyone because some people like to get some detail and background. So apologize to them for being ruthless and ask them for what the main point is anyway. Once you are aware of what the main point is, you can go ahead and ask for what the supporting information is, make a smart decision about what you should do before getting back to work.
Lastly, postpone all those things that are not necessary. When you are working, there will be distractions that will come your way. But there are times when things are just unnecessary but they take away most of your time. Make sure to postpone all those things from beforehand. Remember to respond to emergency situations and get the job done. Otherwise you should carry on with what you are doing anyway.
This brings us to the end of the list. Always remember that interruptions are a part of your work office life and bound to happen. You need to be in charge and in control in order to handle them like a pro. The tips enlisted in the post will definitely help if you follow them very carefully. And if there is some feedback you would like to give, please feel free to drop a comment below. We would also like to answer all your questions. Hopefully we can answer all.