How do you deal with interruptions?

Do you know what one of the most common challenges executives face today?

Interruptions.

Between calls, emails, instant messaging, Skype messaging, texts, WhatsApp messages, email notifications, and people coming in for those questions that will only take 5 minutes, but end up taking a half-hour.

There’s often not much room left for when you can concentrate on your own actual work.

And that’s a problem.

A lot of people think that a 5-minute interruption won’t make a difference or that replying to a message only takes 2 minutes. But research has shown that it takes you between 15 – 20 minutes to go back to doing what you were doing before, and concentrate again.

So here’s a few tips you can use to reduce interruptions and be more productive.  

  • Don’t have your email open all the time (it’s a bad habit)
  • Turn off desktop email & instant messaging notifications (if urgent, people WILL get you)
  • Set up a time of the day to deal with emails & messages (could be twice a day for 30-45 min)
  • Set up a time of the day / week for meetings and have them all back-to-back

As you can imagine, there will always be some level of interruptions. But you can certainly manage them and keep them to a minimum to create space for all that is really important. And these little tricks work like a charm.

Do you struggle with interruptions too?

If so, how do you deal with them?

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