How to Handle Interruptions

Do you feel like you can’t get your work done because you’re constantly being interrupted throughout the day?

You may be in the middle of working on a client project or writing your next amazing blog and then … BAM! … an interruption comes from out of nowhere and destroys your attention.

You’re not alone.

Like most people, interruptions may feel like a constant battle, and perhaps in some cases you may have grown so accustomed to them you don’t even notice them anymore.

Think about the flow of your workday. I’ll bet you’re interrupted at least once an hour. And when your attention is broken, it’s extremely difficult to get back.

It’ll take you at least 20 minutes to remember what you were doing, regain your focus and momentum and get in the flow again.

Here are some easy ways to protect your attention and take back your time.

Pay attention to the sources of your interruptions.

It may surprise you to see the majority of interruptions come from only a few sources. Email, text messages and phone calls are common ones.

I invite you to also notice the people who interrupt you. When you’re aware of the source, it’s easier to take action.

Extreme situations call for extreme measures.

Sometimes the only way to fight interruptions is to hide. Remove yourself from your office and find a place where interruptions won’t find you. Great hiding spots are coffee shops, libraries meeting rooms.

Design your work environment to be an interruption-free zone.

Prevent interruptions from gaining access to you and stealing away your attention and time. To create an interruption-free workspace here are some things you can do:

  • turn off all notifications on your devices
  • close your email and text apps
  • turn off your phone, or better yet, remove it altogether
  • close your door (if you have one)
  • hang a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your desk

Remember, small interruptions are big time thieves

So, set yourself up for a productive day by protecting your focus from being interrupted.