Not a TRUE Interruption

While in a corporate training program a few days ago, I was working through the section of the program that deals with "focusing on your most important acts in your lineup." One of the participants said, "You know, there really aren't many TRUE interruptions." I was curious about their response and asked them to explain.

They said that most individuals consider anything that stops them from completing their current task as an interruption. In reality, many of the things that we consider interruptions are actually part of our job responsibilities. A phone call may be viewed as an interruption, but it is actually within our job expectations to answer it and deal with the need on the other end of the line if it's about work. Someone stopping by our office to ask us something related to work may break our concentration on a high mental task, but it's not truly an interruption.

The person was right. It would be futile to try and eliminate all interruptions-most of us would have to quit our job. Our goal, instead, should be to figure out ways to MANAGE those interruptions that are work-related and MINIMIZE those interruptions that are not work-related. We'll look at ways to do that in our next few blogs.