Phone calls, Skype Calls, e-mails and other Instant Messaging – these are all interruptions we deal with every single working day. Annoying, I know. And it kills productivity. Taking that call or dealing with that e-mail is not the thing which takes time (well, maybe a little) but it’s the fact that you need to re-focus which has the negative impact on your productivity.
Each time your focus is pulled away from a task, you need to shift your focus to this new task – answering Skype or the phone – and then you have to re-focus again on the task you were busy with in the first place. This could take a few seconds or even a few minutes – depending on the intensity of the task.
And this is exactly where time is lost and productivity is lowered.
The solution is simple: Eliminate those potential interruptions.
Turn your phone off while working on tasks. Close your inbox. Change your Skype status to “Do Not Disturb”. People can leave a message and that e-mail can wait for an hour or two. Do not give in to the “available on demand” phenomena. Eradicate interruptions from your working life. This very small change in habit can have a massively positive impact on your productivity.
Tiana Wilson-Buys is a “Get Stuff Done” Business Coach and Productivity Strategist. She offers a free 10-Day Time-Saving Tactics programme via e-mail which you can find here.