Seven Ways to Handle Interruptions at Work

We all face interruptions at workplace. Which, most of the time, disturb our to-do-list and work schedule. How to deal with them?

Following are some tips which can be used:
1. Prioritize – There may be 10 tasks to accomplish for the day. Divide them in the category of important and urgent and accordingly assign time. Try to finish the important tasks in the morning hours where the chances of interruptions are comparatively less. There may be many tasks which you may hate to do, finish them first to keep the rest of work interesting. Also don’t forget the principle of 80:20 while prioritizing.

2. Create and Share you schedule – While creating timesheet for the day keep buffer time to accommodate unscheduled urgent business requirements or unplanned meeting/work assigned by boss. You also can keep 3 or 4 slots of 10 minutes each in your timesheet for the same. You can use Google calendar or Microsoft outlook to share this schedule of yours so that your co-worker/boss knows when you are free.

3. Learn to say NO – What if you have to deliver that report in an hour’s time and someone walks to you for a casual chat or some favor and you know this may be something unimportant. To meet the deadlines and keep schedule in line sometimes you have to say `No’ to people or postpone a little bit. However you can choose a delicate way to say that.

4.Keep a check on Email and phone calls – Instead of keeping outlook/personal mail open and check/respond to every email instantaneously, keep a fix timing to check and respond to emails like twice or thrice a day. Same goes with calls also. You can avoid unknown calls on mobile to keep the momentum of work going on and respond to them during lunch hour, coffee break etc.

5. Wear headphones – This may sound irrelevant initially but people generally don’t disturb someone wearing headphones. You don’t have to listen to music, just wear it. You will also avoid the noise around and it is observed that it helps in focusing on work also.

6. I am in the middle of something – Don’t hesitate to say this whenever you get any interruption and you are working on something important. There is no problem in doing that. You also can add that I shall get back to you after this work or time. This way they won’t come and disturb you instead you can go to them whenever you have leisure time.

7. Rescheduling – However after managing the interruptions efficiently by above points, still your schedule may get affected little bit. So you always can have a look to your schedule to ensure to meet the goal of the day.

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