3 Simple Tips to Prevent Costly Work Distractions and Interruptions

We’ve all had this experience. We are in the middle of doing our work and we decide to check our email  because we hear a “bling” noise indicating that a new message just came into our inbox. Or perhaps a co-worker  emails, calls, texts or walks into our office (or cubicle) and begins talking to us about something totally  unrelated to our task at hand. Or they might pull us away from our work to help them, or someone else, out  with a project they are having difficulty with.

Whatever the reason for the distraction, our work becomes interrupted and our concentration is broken. We  are pulled out of our “work zone” to work on something other than our own projects, to engage in something  other than our work, that quite frankly – we really don’t have time for. But what do we do? We don’t want to  alienate our co-workers and we want to be seen as a team player.

Following are three simple tips to help avoid and/or minimize interruptions from your workday.

  1. Stop interrupting yourself and your own work flow by staying focused on the  task at hand. Not opening your email and turning off your “chat” and/or IM ability on your computer can  help achieve this. In addition, shut off your cell phone; that doesn’t mean put it on vibrate – it means  shut it off completely and then put it away in a desk drawer or in your handbag. Don’t leave it out on  your desk because this will only tempt you to look at it. Out of sight – out of mind!
  2. Create a “Do Not Disturb” or “STOP” sign (or some other creative sign that tells people  not to bother you) and put it either on the back of your chair or on top of your desk (or click onto  the top of your computer). If people come by to talk to you, don’t look up from your  computer or your phone, just point to the sign and go on about your business.
  3. Write down all your ideas regarding business initiatives and label: “to be discussed later.”   Let’s say you come up with an ingenious solution to a work problem – or a fabulous business initiative while  you are in the middle of working on a task other than the one related to the idea that just popped into your  head. Instead of interrupting your work and the work of your colleagues and/or boss by running into their  office to tell them about your stroke of genius – or by sending them an email marked “urgent”, write your  solution or idea down in your phone, computer or on a piece of paper- and then at an appropriate  time, discuss it with the appropriate people. Doing this will prevent you from doing three (3)  things: 1) interrupting your own work, 2) interrupting your colleague’s work and 3) forgetting your brilliant

Operationalizing these three (3) simple strategies will help you to avoid, or totally eliminate distractions and interruptions in the work place, allowing you and your co-workers to be more efficient and optimize your time at work!


The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann


Book a free session

Book a free session