Greensboro, NC -- The one thing you can count on whether you're a stay at home mom or a person who works 60 hours a week: interruptions! It's a given.
Janice Russell from Minding Your Matters Organizing says it kills productivity whether you're folding laundry or working on an email.
"Once interrupted, it can take 15/20 minutes to get back to the point you were in the project when you were interrupted."
Some of the interruptions you have to take care of right then and there, but there is way to manage most interruptions.
"You need to have set responses in your mind for each one. so you don' t have to think about it."
What do you say to the co-worker who wants to talk: " I would love to talk with you, I have ten minutes left on this task. Can I call you then"
How about the friend who calls to ask you to do something: "Let me check my calendar and with my spouse."
And when the boss comes and interrupts:
"As I recall, you wanted me to do a and b, now with c added, which of these do you feel is a priority to be worked on today?"
Janice says you can deflect interruptions without saying anything at all. She suggests wearing earbuds will give the non-verbal cue you are not be interrupted. Also, a sign on your desk or a day schedule posted on your door that shows what you're working on and when you have open door time.
It's so important to deflect because if we don't we lose productivity time and often we try to multi-task and then we get in trouble. .
Janice went through the scenarios that many of us do but shouldn't: text and walk, type and talk & watch, type and eat and talk.
"Studies show can actually take you twice as long to do both tasks than if you did them separately; you might have missed something in the conversation and you need the person to repeat it so the phone conversation takes longer."
The things we can do together and not mess up too bad are automatic tasks like ironing and easy cooking.