7 Ways to Avoid Interruptions at Work

7_Ways_to_Avoid_Interruptions_at_WorkYou are trying to get things done, when you get interrupted… again.

It seems like the 57th time today, that you have been interrupted while trying to get your work completed.

Do you have trouble getting your work done due to repeated interruptions? If so, read on for tips on how to avoid and minimize these distractions.

Avoiding Interruptions in the Workplace

You may think that most of your interruptions in the workplace are beyond your control.

After all, how can you control that one annoying co-worker always stopping by to gossip? Or the loud person in the next cubicle that hums all day long?

“Many of the interruptions at work can be prevented or avoided altogether.”

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The unexpected fire drill may be beyond your control. However, many other interruptions are self-inflicted or preventable.

Here are 7 Ways to Avoid Interruptions at Work:

  1. Turn Off the Notifications – Can you get through a simple conversation or task without your phone or email chiming or ringing? Remember that your phone is there for your convenience, so turn off the notifications when you need to get work done. (It’s amazing that many people still don’t know that the rocker switch on the top left of their phone will silence it, or that they can turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode.)
  2. Close your Email Inbox – If you want to avoid interruptions and distractions, then stay away from your email. It can be the single biggest time waster in the workplace. Chances are, email is not your job. So, close your email application and work on your tasks, instead of endlessly fighting your inbox.
  3. Say No When Necessary – You can (and must) say No when appropriate to interruptions. If you let every “drive by” interrupt your day, you will never get your work done. You can say, “No, I can’t give you a minute right now, I have to finish this task. Let’s catch up later.”
  4. Turn On the Music – You may not be able to turn off the background noise in your workplace, but you can tune it out. Put your headphones on, and create your own environment in which you can concentrate.
  5. Avoid the Gossip – Gossiping can waste hours of your day. And how many times are you going to tell the same story over and over? Avoid the meaningless break room and hallway chatter.
  6. Physically Isolate Yourself – If you feel that you can’t get work done at your desk, then by all means find another location. Work remotely if possible or find a conference room. Isolate yourself when you really need to get work done. If you have an office, you can close the door, and then reopen it later.
  7. Block Your CalendarMaking appointments with your important tasks is a great way to prevent interruptions. It’s one thing to try and “get to” a task when others are asking for your time, but when you have a meeting with an important project, it’s a different situation.

Say No to Interruptions

You don’t have to let interruptions rule your workday.

With a little discipline and some proactive tactics, you can avoid many workplace disruptions.

In some cases, you may have to go out-of-your way to prevent them, but you’ll get more work done if you do.

Question: How do you avoid interruptions in your workplace? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

6 thoughts on “7 Ways to Avoid Interruptions at Work

  1. 8. Work during off hours. Four hours before everybody else gets to work is the best time. But if that’s not for you, after dinner will do very well.

    1. Hey Cliff! I whole-heartedly agree with “time-shifting” your work to non-busy times. Great idea!

      But, I hope you are not working on your “off time.” 😉

  2. 5 & 6 are the tuffest parts of this list. My office sits in the middle of the building next to the bathrooms and the coffee station. I get pulled into many conversations. Isolation is great when I had it, but this new location causes many more interruptions than ever before. It really is up to me to say “No” to conversation

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