Those who spend large amounts of time online will totally understand when T.J. Larkin, in a weekly Larkin Pages research summary, says that we’re the ones responsible for half of our own interruptions.
Think of all those blogs you follow, keeping up your own blog, checking email, visiting social networks, checking out what’s new, Twitter etc.; some days it’s a wonder we get much done at all!
In Dr. Larkin’s mailing, Multitasking Lowers Performance, he says we can reduce interruptions by a whopping 92% if, during certain times of the day, we stop interrupting ourselves:
- by not checking emails, standing up and moving around or beginning a casual conversation (49%)
- by asking others not to interrupt us (21%)
- by not responding to new emails (13%)
- by not answering the telephone (9%)
I dunno; sounds like quite a bit of discipline is required! Now excuse me while I go check my email.
Working alone from home as we do, Sue, makes it easier to focus & concentrate than working in a corporate office. You can’t start a casual conversation & others don’t interrupt you. But we’re told that we SHOULD frequently stand up & move around. As for emails & phone calls, that’s how clients & prospects contact me, so responding to them is important. Of course, reading joke emails from friends is a time waster, but they do keep us socialized & human.
It SHOULD make it easier, without people casually dropping by the cubicle to chat. I confess I probably spend more time on email than “experts” would say was productive, because I leave my in-box open so I can see when new mail comes in and I usually respond fairly quickly. I also tend to answer the phone rather than let voice mail pick up calls. As you say, it’s important to respond to clients and prospects. Thank goodness for Call Display!