Annoying interruptions can make us work longer hours and destroy our productivity. It’s also bad for morale because nothing important gets done or that people are not able to fully focus on their responsibilities and tasks. With all the threats and uncertainties, we just want to get it over with and focus on something else.

How do I stop interruptions at work

“Got a minute there?” This one minute of interruption often turns into 30 minutes of meaningless chat. Worse, you stopped halfway with your task and then you need several minutes again to get back into the zone. A single interruption from a colleague or an instant message can make you waste hours of productivity but you’ll have nothing to show for it. Whether at the home office or a workplace far from dwelling, interruptions mean wasted time and money. As a result, it’s important to address those interruptions and minimise or even eliminate them from our daily suffering.

To deal with those interruptions and get rid of them, it helps to have “blocks of time” that will allow us to complete a task without interruption. It’s especially the case with creative and cognitive tasks such as programming, writing an article and preparing a comprehensive report. For these tasks we need two or three hours of focus at least to make significant progress. To help achieve this, it helps to schedule the interruptions and focus time.

Notice that it’s not just about eliminating the interruptions all together, but more about setting clear hours for concentration. This way, the mind doesn’t get tired of switching among various tasks. This also increases the chances of a task finally getting completed because it’s being done early and continuously.

What will allow a task to be done early and continuously? Focus and comfort play a huge role here because knowledge work and cognitive tasks require uninterrupted blocks of time and sustained attention. To achieve that comfort, it’s important that the temperature and humidity levels are regulated and kept uniform. Also, it’s important to maintain good indoor air quality to avoid accumulation and inhalation of potentially dangerous air pollutants.

Before relying on the Pomodoro technique, project and operations management charts and other productivity tools, it’s crucial to pay attention to the work environment first. The workplace should feel comfortable for everyone so that professionals can better focus on their work and get things done.

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