Sometimes interruptions are welcome, but everyone needs to work undisturbed at certain times. Make your working day as productive as possible by discouraging interruptions by colleagues, and reorganizing your office so that you are less visible.
To reduce the number of unnecessary interruptions you receive, first, draw up the following lists:
- People who may interrupt you at any time, such as your boss or important customers;
- People who may interrupt you when you are not particularly busy, such as colleagues;
- People who may not interrupt you at all.
Keep these lists in mind, and give copies to your support staff and relevant colleagues. Ask them to follow these lists as much as possible.
Rethinking Work Space
You are especially vulnerable to interruptions if it is easy for passers-by to catch your eye. Position your desk so that you can see who is approaching the door. Keep your office door closed when you do not want to be interrupted.
Even if you work in an open-plan office, you can minimize interruptions by making changes to the layout of your workspace – reposing your desk behind filing cabinets, for example, or placing your computer monitor directly in front of you. Once you make yourself less visible to staff and colleagues, they are less likely to disturb you unnecessarily.
- Ask your secretary or colleague to screen incoming phone call for you.
- Pick up the phone to indicate the end of a meeting.
- Do not sit down if you are followed into your office.
- Place your chair out of view if your door is open.