External Interruptors / Time Stealers – Time Management

No matter how well you plan your week and day, etc it happens that something interrupts your concentration. Let’s now go into some common interruptions.

However well you plan your own work there will always be interruptions. Working life involves social intercourse and interruptions are an intrinsic part of life on the job. People generally get irritated when they are interrupted as they wouldn’t like to break off from what they are doing and have to focus on something else. Changing your attitude to interruptions, in general, will help you in managing them better. Accept interruptions as just a part of the day’s work.

Then you won’t find them that frustrating; you can manage them better, and the interruptions will appear to be shorter. You can’t avoid all interruptions but the ones that occur can be directed. We have to learn to accept people’s unexpected behavior.  Make provision in your own plans for reserving a little time for the unexpected.

Will you be constantly interrupted – or will you permit yourself to be interrupted? Acknowledging the problem is said to be 90 per cent of the solution. Make a list of things that you regard as an interruption to your work. When you have done that, consider what measures you can take to eliminate the disturbances to your work that you can have an influence over. Decide on a deadline for when you will do something to avoid interruptions. Discuss with your colleagues at work about the most typical types of interruptions in your own department/company.

Interruptions can be divided in several ways, but in this connection let me divide them into internal and external interruptions. Let me first go into external interruptions or time stealers as they sometimes are called.

Many people today experience the telephone as the biggest time-stealer. Unexpected or prolonged calls upset the process of getting the work done. It’s not always necessary to answer the phone. Calls can be directed automatically to an answering machine, the company’s switchboard or a secretary. Reviewing messages and requests to call back can be done to suit your own timetable. If you wish to focus on a certain job without interruption, ask one of your colleagues if he could answer the calls for you. Return the favor when your ‘helper’ needs the same kind of assistance. The calls you make could be unnecessarily prolonged. Consider what the objective of making the call is beforehand. Even telephone calls can be planned beforehand. You can also plan your day in such a way that you look after calls at a certain time of the day. Social intercommunication in a working environment is essential. Colleagues drop in for a ‘chat’; how do you feel concerning what is a suitable level? We don’t always come to think whether our socializing with a colleague interferes with his work. It would be polite to ask if we are disturbing him before we begin to recount what happened last night or go through the events of the weekend. Value your own time, but also value the time of others. If you want to be the master of your time you need also to learn to say “NO”.


A supervisor sees a subordinate and asks: ‘Are you here in the afternoon?’ Usually subordinates are at work when their supervisors ask. The afternoon commences at 12.01. After that the subordinate starts to wait for his supervisor to appear. It would be a much more effective use of time if the supervisor planned a meeting for a certain fixed time. For example: ‘I would like to go through our marketing plan and discuss our marketing campaign for next month. I think that we could clear this up in around 45 minutes. Are you here at 2 o’clock?’

Kategoria(t): Time Management. Lisää kestolinkki kirjanmerkkeihisi.


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