Dealing with Interruptions - At Your Desk
It's a sensitive topic, but definitely one worth reflecting on. When you are trying to get some work done at your desk, particularly when working on something detailed or complex and then someone interrupts! Yes, it is very challenging.
Interruptions disturbs your thought process and the flow of your work. It can have an impact on a deadline and create a lot of stress. In some instances, the interruption can even result in you forgetting to save that document you've been working on for the last hour and you loose all your changes. I've done that so many times, now I set everything to autosave!
Here are some quick and effective tips you can put in place today, to help deal with interruptions.
Allocate time efficiently. Allow yourself sections of the working day, where you allocate a block of time away from your phone and queries to concentrate at your desk, and the tasks at hand. The first few hours of the day are usually best, as you are at your most productive and relaxed after a nights sleep.
Be consistent on your availability. Try, where possible, to allocate the same time each day to deal with calls / queries. Over time, people will then become familiar with the times you are available to talk to them and will consciously contact you during those intervals.
Be clear and concise to reduces queries. When you contact someone to complete a brief, review information or provide information for a report / document. Be very detailed and clear in your communication, and what you need from them. This will reduce the number of queries that might result.
Be clear and polite about your availability at your office. Work in a busy office? Learn to tell people that you just can't talk now because you are working on something that must be completed, and let them know politely that you are working to a deadline. If they continue to interrupt, and carry on talking and sometimes this does happen, explain once again that your deadline is a priority but offer your colleague an alternative time to have the discussion and make a point of noting this in your diary, as they stand on front of you.
In the rare instance, that the colleague still doesn't leave your office or move away from your desk to allow you return to the task at hand, a good tip is to simply say. "Excuse me while I go make a quick cup of tea / get a glass of water, before returning to this urgent work". This will give you back full control of the situation and allow you break away. It's also a great opportunity to make that cup of tea, and take a five minute break!
Wild Poppy Wellbeing Tip. When you take a break from your desk, do you reach for unhealthy snacks to accompany that quick cup of tea? To avoid those sugary snacks, keep a small bag of almonds to snack on. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and Vitamin E. Almonds also known to help lower blood sugar levels and reduce sugar and hunger cravings.