13 - Managing Interruptions


Manage episode 276451935 series 2775734
By Jillian M Flodstrom and Jillian Flodstrom. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Trying to get work done through constant distractions and interruptions can be frustrating. Putting out fires left and right, answering the same question multiple times, losing your train of thought, and bouncing between mental spaces is exhausting and inefficient. Today, we’re going to talk about how you can effectively manage these interruptions to make sure you have the capacity to check things off your to-do list without sacrifice.

The first step to managing interruptions and distractions is to make sure you’re scheduling dedicated time during your day to get work done. That means putting it in your calendar, sharing it with your team, silencing notifications on your computer, and yes, turning your phone onto airplane mode. Remember to turn off your smartwatch, too. This may even help you realize you had distractions that you weren’t even aware were pulling you from your work.

The next move is to make sure you’ve scheduled an “open door” period, where your team knows you’re ready and fully available for any questions they may have. With many people working from home, this may look like a slack message or a quick Zoom call. This period of time is for them to have full access to you and your brain. Of course, you can’t tell a family member or a child to only come in during this period, but it’s important to set expectations for yourself and everyone in your life so you can keep on track as best as possible.

When someone does have a question or needs your help, consider training your team to get right to the point. That way, there is no beating around the bush, and valuable time isn’t lost trying to outline the question at hand. It’s absolutely important to remember that when someone comes to you with questions, it’s more than likely they don’t want to be interrupting you either. They know you’re busy and are busy themselves, so keep that in mind when the moment comes. It’s all about a mutual respect.

If you do get interrupted, it’s easy to lose track of the task at hand. It can take 10, 20, or 30 minutes to get back on track and regain your momentum. I great way to combat this is with brief voice memos. Use your phone or a program that sends your memo directly to your email so you can jump right back in.

Additionally, use these moments to further smooth out your process. If you find you’re fielding the same questions day-in, day-out, it’s worth considering a program like ScreenFlow so you have pre-build videos that can make your communications more efficient. From there, open it up to your staff and allow them to self-manage and answer each other’s questions. Their time is valuable as well, so give it back to them!

Key Takeaways

  • The first step to managing interruptions and distractions is to make sure you’re scheduling dedicated time during your day to get work done. Make sure your staff is aware, and silence any and all notifications.
  • Dedicate an “open door” period where your team and others have full, unabated access to you and your brain. Set those expectations early!
  • Use voice memos to keep you on track if you get distracted or interrupted. It’ll save valuable time usually wasted regaining your train of thought.
  • Train your staff to effectively get the answers they need. That means getting right to the core problem they are having, setting up pre-built videos with answers to common questions, and allowing them to collaborate and regain lost time.



30 episodes