Enough With The Interruptions

As we head into the last week of January, we’re wrapping up our discussion on interruptions. This month has been full of them and I’m guessing not much work has been done in the last few weeks. Hopefully, we can take a break from doom-scrolling for a while and focus on other things. And also look at the other interruptions in our life.


We’ve talked about how this pandemic is one big life interruption and taking time to reflect on how we want to be spending our time. We talked about scheduling office hours so you can get things done and there’s time for family and colleagues to ask you questions.

Now, I want to share a few ideas on dealing with interruptions that are simple and easy to implement today.

  • Turn off all notifications to emails (even better, close your email program unless you are processing emails). Have an auto-responder letting people know the times you respond to
  • Schedule time each day to process emails and return phone calls.
  • Turn your phone off, put it on silent, or put it in another room.
  • Only have the tasks on your desk that you are working on. Don’t have a bunch of tabs or programs open on your computer or lots of stuff on your desk.
  • Remove apps from your phone or tablet that easily distract you.
  • Keep a piece of paper nearby for when you think of another task you need to do. Don’t stop what you are focused on now. Simply write the idea down and come back to it later.
  • Set a timer and focus on one specific task for that amount of time.
  • Take regular breaks. Your brain can only deal with so much at any one time. Step away from your desk and move your body at least once an hour.

Pick or choose a few to use in the next few weeks and let me know how it goes!