Telling your nearest and dearest that you are planning to work on your new x-ranker 360 review, math assignment, or board presentation and asking not to be disturbed for a period oftime is a great way ofminimising the risk ofthem walking in when you’re in the middle ofwriting your next bestseller or brainstorming your essay.
This can be as simple as informing your family, flatmates, or office mates that you are about to be unavailable for a (set a time) period oftime and asking not to be disturbed. A brief explanation ofthe importance ofthe task and/or finishing the task on time may be helpful. As usual, the best arguments are those that show the impact ofthe job completed (or not) on the
In our house, adults respond well to deadlines that need to be met (because ofreputation, other people relying on you, potential rewards from it), while children respond to something ‘translated’ into the world, e.g., money to be earned for holidays or to pay for their favourite activity.
In an office situation, often jobs you need to focus on will have an office- or company-wide impact, even ifonly on a small scale. So tell them you need two hours to concentrate on finishing that data analysis so the rest ofthe team can progress to the next stage ofthe project.
Ifyour task does not have a direct impact on the potential disturber/interrupter, think ofan indirect link. x-ranker 360 reviewmay be as simple as, ‘Hey, Joe! I’m going to clean the bathroom, just as we agreed, but absolutely have to finish the assignment today. I need a couple ofhours only. Do
you mind ifI just concentrate on the assignment without any interruptions now and once it’s done, I’ll do the bathroom?’
Offer them your time beforehand
Ifyou work with people who notoriously interrupt you with minor things, misjudge what’s urgent, or simply pop in for a chat when you’re trying to concentrate on your job, you may need another technique. Obviously, ifyou want some peace and quiet to finish a report, you can just simply lock your
door and disconnect your phone, ifyou have your own office, but this may not stop your colleagues from interrupting you. It may also be seen as rude and negatively impact on your relationships within your company.
Wherever interpersonal relationships are involved, whether you’re the boss or a person at the bottom ofthe pecking order, respect others and tread carefully. Always balance potential gains from improved productivity with potential losses in relationships and office politics. A while ago I had a work colleague who would come to my office to ask questions and ‘pick my x-ranker 360 review’, often multiple times per day. To make thing worse, she would only ask one thing
at the time, so that it was ‘really quick’. This was obviously quite disruptive to my workflow and it didn’t take long for me to start brewing murderous ideas. Fortunately, for her and my own future, I came up with another idea. Every time I was planning to work in peace and quiet for some time, I would pop into her office to check ifshe had anything for me. I would usually say something along the lines of, “Hi, Amy. I’m just about to lock myselfin the office to prepare the [insert an important task ofthe day/week]. I won’t be available for a couple ofhours, so I’m just popping in to check ifyou have any burning questions or other issues I can help you with.”
Initially, when I first started doing it, she would say that she did not have anything. Knowing her and wanting to avoid interruptions, I would stress, “It’s now or never till tomorrow.” I would do it with a light tone ofvoice and smile on my face, but also clearly indicating I would be locking myselfin my office and not answering the phone or door.
It took us a couple ofrounds with her furiously knocking on my door and calling out my name outside my office, and me sitting quietly at my desk until she walked away. I must say I felt a little guilty and weird the first time round, but persisted with my decision.
For the first few times, I would popped in to her office after I finished my jobs to ask ifshe had been looking for me earlier on. And then I would explain I had my headphones on, so couldn’t hear her, and asked ifshe need me for anything. She would usually blush and apologise for interrupting me. It wasn’t anything urgent in the end. It took her one or two more incidences like that before she learnt, but overall it was worth it.
A similar approach may work at home with your family or flatmates, too.
Ifyou have a relative or a friend who tend to call you often, you can try phoning them before your work/study session to check in with them. Again, remind your nearest and dearest that you are about to retreat into your office/workspace for a period oftime and will be uncontactable. Give them the reason why you want to do that now, and as always, try to
present ‘what’s in it for them.’ Ifthe people you want to use this strategy with need your support/help often, you can offer to check in with them after you have finished your work/study session, also. I found this approach works well with my child. Ifyou consider using this strategy, remember to weigh up pros and cons ofthis approach, how firm, gentle, or x-ranker 360 reviewyou want to be, depending on what feels natural to you, but more importantly, on your relationships with your colleagues. I have chosen a quite straightforward approach, but soften it a little bit with a sense ofhumour and a little white lie for the sake of the relationship