The High Cost of Interruptions
Studies suggest that,
- on average, workers are interrupted once every ten and a half minutes,
- once interrupted, it takes a worker 23 minutes on average to get back to the task he/she was working on, and,
- workers can lose up to 28% of their workday handling unnecessary interruptions.
Interruptions derail your train of thought. Thereafter, getting back to what you were doing can be difficult. If you are sitting at your desk at work or home, the odds of being able to focus on a task and work uninterrupted are zero. Too, interruptions abound when working from (or at) home around kids, pets, or others.
Seek Remote / Undisturbed Locations for Work
Richard Nixon, former President of the United States, used the following technique to isolate himself when he wanted to focus on important work.
Richard Nixon was extremely efficient as a time manager. One of his techniques involved the use of a small private office in the Executive Office Building across the street from the White House. Armed with several yellow legal pads, Nixon would walk over to the office to work alone. His aides were under orders not to interrupt him except in the case of an emergency.
To minimize the impact of interruptions on your work, seek a hideout. Find a place where people are not likely to bother you: a vacant conference room, a desk in another office location, or, the study area at your local library. Consider coming in to work before others or work on a weekend morning. Disconnect yourself by turning off cell phones and the internet. Focus to get more things done.