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Published on Feb 17, 2016
TRANSCRIPT: Did you know that distractions consume an average of 2.1 hours each day? What a waste of time.
And, to make matters worse, getting your mind back on track after you’ve been interrupted is a real challenge. It can take from 5 to 25 minutes to get back to the task at hand after even a minor interruption like a phone call, a quick email check or a game of solitaire on your cell phone – which is my downfall.
In my new book, Agile Selling, I share numerous ideas to help you deal with distractions without sounding like a total jerk. Here are just a few:
Start by focusing on prevention. It’s easier. Personally, when I’m really working on something, my office door is closed. To keep people from popping in, I even have a Do Not Disturb sign where I add in timeframes.
If you’re in a busy office, wear headphones. And, if people still feel like it’s okay to interrupt, tape a “do not disturb” sign on your back.
Also, don’t be afraid to move to a different area, like a conference room or a coffee shop. Just get yourself away from those who interrupt you.
But sometimes even those strategies don’t work. Think about all the times you’ve been interrupted by a colleague who says, “Got a few minutes?” or “I have a quick question.” If that happens a lot, you need to have a response ready. Here’s what you say: “Is it critical to talk now or can it wait for sixty minutes?”
At first you may feel rude doing this, but the truth is most things aren’t urgent; they can wait. But you have to remember, that your time is valuable. Even a short interruption can cost you a significant amount of time – that you’ll never, ever get back.
Proactively dealing with distractions is one of the best ways to add more hours to your overloaded day. You’ll be able to get a whole lot more done while you’re at work. And, best of all, you’ll have some free time again.