Do you ever hear "Knock knock," followed by,
"Do you have a minute?" These kinds of daily interruptions take a bigger toll on our time, quality of work and energy levels than most people think.
"Task switching" (going from one task to another) as well as multi-tasking (doing two tasks simultaneously) reduces focus and attention. Studies show it slows down work productivity and results in more errors. Plus it's exhausting...
Think of who interrupts you the most. Now think of the person you interrupt the most. Keep these people in mind as you consider the following three interruption busters:
1. Keep an Agenda list for each person you interrupt most often. Instead of getting up, calling or emailing them right away, keep a list of multiple items to hand off all at once. If you're in the position to ask the person who interrupts you most often, get him or her to create an Agenda list for you, too. Instead of being interrupted dozens of times a day, schedule a quick "check in" with each other in the morning and/or afternoon as needed.
2. Ask if there's anything else they'd like to ask you before you go. One client said it like this, "Is there anything that you can think of that you'd like to talk to me about in the next week?"
3. Turn off the new email notification "ding" and wavy transparency icon. Have you ever noticed how often your own system interrupts you? Give yourself the luxury of completing your own thought. Then go back to checking email.