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13 August 2010


If you’re anything like me you’ll get your fair share of interruptions each day. My new rule for being more productive after focusing on one task was that I would take down a note of what is required to do and then do it after I had finished my task. “BUT I NEED IT DONE NOW” I hear you say. There may well be times when a task is urgent and needs to be done straight away such as if you are a bottle neck to what somebody else needs to do to deliver to a client on time and maintain a good service.

Then I thought to myself if we can never eliminate interruptions and have a one task at a time working life then we ought to at least minimize the amount of interruptions and prioritize what can be done quickly in the now (leaving us to get on with the current or next task at hand) or what can be qualified as to how urgent it is and when it really needs to be completed by.

Who is the person asking you to do it?

If it is your boss is it really them who needs the task at hand to be done or is it the client needs it to be done and either one has mismanaged expectations on when a project can be delivered.

How much time does the task take to complete?

If the person asking you to complete the task wants it yesterday and you are already in the middle of finishing another project can it wait as you’re already over capacity.
It is often better to promise to get it finished by Friday and deliver on Thursday.
If it didn’t get done on time what would be the worst that could happened?
If the project overrun would this have a strong effect on the trust between your company and the client. In these tough times clients are hard to come by and companies are trying to show their worth and add value. On other hand if we look at why we have to respond so quickly it often can boil down to a lack of pre planning.

Whats your thoughts on dealing with interruptions?

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