How to Minimize Workplace Interruptions

You may be trying hard to practice your organizing techniques but still manage to complete only a few of your tasks at the end of the day. It may be due to uncontrolled workplace interruptions. Below we suggest ten ways to minimize interruptions in the workplace without sacrificing your role of being accessible and available to co-workers and clients:

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1. Use your voicemail when you are doing something important that needs your uninterrupted attention and concentration especially with a deadline. Schedule a time to respond to your messages.
2. Instead of checking your email every few minutes and responding immediately to each email, set a schedule on which times of the day should you read and respond to email messages.
3. If you are someone whom your co-workers often ask for company policies or procedures, create a FAQ and make it accessible to co-workers.
4. When you are in charge of certain processes in the workplace such as reservations, create a procedure for the process in making requests such as an online form.
5. Clearly communicate information needs and turnaround times especially for job order requests in order to avoid unnecessary follow-ups.
6. Block out time on office calendars so you can work without interruption.
7. If you are on a tight deadline or working on something extremely important, make yourself unavailable for interruptions by working outside your office – even if it is just the empty conference room.
8. If you are able to adjust your schedule, take advantage of this opportunity such as working earlier than usual, or having a different day off and work when everyone’s off. This way, you can get more work done.
9. Set certain hours of the day when you will be available to answer questions from co-workers.
10. If you are working on a project with different departments or co-workers, create a regular update meeting in order for everyone to be clearly updated with information and avoid wasting time updating each other individually.

If you enjoyed reading this, check out our write up about Computer Workstation Ergonomics.

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