Do you ever get interrupted when you’re trying to get something done?  Have you ever not been interrupted when you’ve tried to get something done?

I read a scary statistic the other day.  An office worker is productive, working on a task, activity or project, on average  1 ½ hours per 8 hour workday.   The rest of the time is spent on email, phone calls, meetings, chatting, looking for files, surfing the net, staring into space, going to the restroom, you name it.

Increasing your productivity is not that hard.  The last post had tips to help you with email and phone calls.

When you’re working on something you’re not that interested in, it’s easy to get distracted.  That doesn’t help you get done what you have to do.  Here are some tips when you have to get things done.

Tip 1:  Just say no.  If your employees are constantly running into your office and asking you for information, you may have turned into a human training manual.  This is so easy to do.  You want to be really helpful.  What you’re actually doing is training your employees to use you as a verbal reference guide – they don’t learn how to do things on their own – or figure things out for themselves.  As a manager, you’ve got to encourage your employees to think and act independently.

Here’s what you say:  When someone comes into your office, politely, but firmly say –  “I’m in the middle of a deadline, could we talk later?”  If you’ve never done this, you might get some startled looks.  It’s worth it.  You can even add:  “Could you come back at 3:00 with your question?”  You’re still being helpful, and controlling your schedule.  About 90% or more of the time the person will not return to your office.

Tip 2:  Close your door.  You could pick a certain time each day or a few times during the week.  Post a sign on your door and tell your staff that you’re not to be disturbed for the next hour or two.

    Sub tip:  If you want to maximize your concentration and productivity, work in 50 minute segments.  Stand up and walk around for 10 minutes before you begin your next 50 minute segment.

Tip 3:  Remove yourself.  You can’t be interrupted if you’re not there.  Take your task to a new environment.  You might be inspired to look at things in a new way!

Do you have any tips to share?  What’s worked for you?  Leave your comments and experiences below.

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