Dealing With Interruptions
In our day to day jobs we are faced with many kinds of interruptions. On one side, we shall be productive and on the other side, we shall be available at every given time during working hours. In other words, we have to be productive while being interrupted to every given time, without loosing our nerves and productivity. A normal human brain is able to fully focus on one single task at a time. Period! Multitasking is for people with super-powers. Because of the fact that most of humanity is not able to multitask, errors are made. In addition, there is stress because of so called multitasking. Where does this stress come from, you may ask. Well, because most of us know that we do make more errors as soon as we try to tackle more than one task.
Ask yourself. You’re reading this. While at working hours or in your spare time?
What are interruptions and where do they come from?
Very good question. Humans get interrupted in so many ways and most of the time we don’t even realize. In this post we’ll focus on the most common types of interruptions. It would get way too far to cover them all.
Everybody uses them and everybody likes them. At least, if you’re writing the e-mail and someone other has to read it. It gives the writer the feeling of having done something.
Think about that for a second!
Someone: “I just dropped a line via e-mail. Huh, I better call to make sure it got noticed because it’s important!”
We all get those from time to time. Or worse, regularly.
Instant messaging is good and way better than e-mail because of it is more “modern”. But, most people assume that you instantly reply after you got the message.
We’re focusing right now on something important. Maybe we didn’t even noticed or were away from keyboard.
In person appearance
The last resort!
Someone: “Hi! Sorry to disturb you but can I ask a question?”
Me: ‘You did, so thank you?’
Someone: “Hahaha! No. My question is about so-and-so.”
Me: ‘Hmpf! Ok, go on…’
And we all feel guilty of doing the same.
What can we do about it?
Yes! You can do something about it if you’re willing to be the bad guy for about a month.
Read and answer them in the morning and around an hour before you want to leave.
Those humans, who understood what e-mails are for, will not be mad at you for replying so late. It’s an e-mail. A postcard.
Ever sent a postcard from your vacation back home to your beloved ones? They sparsely come in time.
But that’s not the problem. Humans think (because of two-factor-authentication [everyone should use it!], registration e-mails and such) that we’re all staring at the screen all the time waiting for something to happen. Educate them to the point that they understand that we are reading (and I mean real reading) our mails only two times a day.
Why? Because of calls.
Humans are a social breed. Also, they want to make sure they’ve been heard. We actually can’t do anything about that fact.
Deal with it. Be humble and tell them, that you noted it down and we’ll tackle it later.
E-mail 2.0. Everything is going to be good after we’ll embrace instant messaging. Kind of! But instand messaging is still understood as e-mail 2.0 and people are going to call you by phone to make sure you got the memo.
We have to be patient. Not everyone get’s it.
In person appearance
Let people know we’re currently working on something but hear them out. Note it down, tell them we do it (if it makes sense to us) and wish them a good day.
They (the people) will walk away with the thinking of being productive by delegating their problem. We, ourself get back to work and deal with it later.
Later, we decide if we tackle the task ourself or if we are able to delegate it even further.
This will automatically educate humans! Keep on with it and help everyone of us!
As we can see, we can’t do much about it. But, we can educate. Sure, we are the bad guys for our opinion and for our way of doing things.
Sooner or later, all the humans will likely can relate. And at that point, we’re the Pros and will be able to teach them.
So after reading this we stop stressing ourself and start being more productive. Humanity will catch up with the goals they set for themself. Just give them time!