In today’s hectic environment where people can reach you in person, on the phone, via text, by chat, through email or a host of other channels, it can feel impossible to avoid interruptions throughout the workday. No matter how overwhelmed you feel, it is possible to take control of your day and avoid interruptions with a few simple strategies.
Turn Off Notifications
Inevitably, when you sit down to focus on your energy on a task, you will be interrupted by your phone, your email, your work chat, etc. Luckily, all of these forms of communication can be muted, placed on “do not disturb” or turned off. If you need to stay focused, simply turn off notifications and check your messages when you’re ready to take a break.
Look As Though You Shouldn’t Be Interrupted
Most people understand certain cues that say, “I can’t be interrupted right now.” If you have an office door, close it. If you don’t have an office door, put earbuds in your ears (whether you are actually listening to music or not). You can also move into a conference room or vacant office and close the door, as well. Most people will wait until you send the signal that you are available before they come to you to chat.
Block Time On Your Calendar
If you have blocked off time to focus on a task, physically block it in your work calendar. This will prevent people from scheduling you for a last-minute meeting. If you use a time scheduling project management tool, create a task to block the time so no one drops something on your plate without warning.
If someone comes to interrupt you with something that is not critical, do not be afraid to say, “I actually don’t have a minute now but I will reach out to you as soon as I’m done with this task. Can I get back with you in a few hours?” Unless it is a true emergency, most people will respect your boundaries.
Work From Home
If your job allows you to work from home and if your home environment is quiet, take advantage of the freedom when you really need to focus. People may still reach out via chat or email, but if you’re “out of sight” you’re often not on your coworkers’ radars.
If your current work environment isn’t productive, it might be time to make a change. If you’re ready for new challenges, the IT recruiters of OakTree Staffing are ready to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more.