— > IF YOU’RE AN ARRANGER Try This Strategy: Leverage your interpersonal skills by reframing how you approach interruptions. Institute a personal chat budget and let your colleagues know when you are coming close to exceeding your budget.
— > IF YOU’RE A PLANNER Try This Strategy: Use your planning muscle by setting appointments with colleagues instead of accommodating drive-bys or stop-ins. When a colleague comes by and asks whether you have a minute to discuss a project, you might respond, “Right now, I don’t have time, but we can talk tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., when I’ll be able to be fully present and able to focus on the project.” You can also redirect your colleague by suggesting that someone else might be able to help them.
— > IF YOU’RE A PRIORITIZER Try This Strategy: A productivity strength of yours is your ability to complete significant amounts of work and keep your head down. Leverage this strength by communicating open door/open office hours to your colleagues. Let them know when you are available, each day. Even if you work in an open office space, you can still establish “interruption hours,” leaving other periods when your colleagues know that you need to work without being disturbed.
— > Productivity is highly personal, your strategy to manage interruptions should reflect your thinking style as well as the realities of your work environment and office culture. Of course, it should also be tailored to your personal Productivity Style (Refresher: Are you the Prioritizer, the Planner, the Arranger, or the Visualizer? Or don’t know your Productivity Style and want to find out – take the Productivity Style Assessment®.)
— > Excessive interruptions affect human behavior by increasing stress and by negatively impacting recall, accuracy, efficiency, and ultimate performance. Interruptions are undermining our ability to effectively and efficiently complete our work. It is time for you to take back control and halt the incessant interruptions.