Managing Interruptions - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Managing Interruptions eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-983-1 (38 Pages)
Interruptions are a major productivity killer and it can be very difficult to protect yourself from them whilst maintaining a good working relationship with your colleagues and external partners, for example customers and suppliers. This free eBook describes the tactics you can use to protect yourself from interruptions without alienating others.

Chapter 1 - Handling Interruptions at Work
There are a variety of ways you can avoid the guilt often associated with avoiding interruptions and one of the most effective is creating a screen that allows you to work undisturbed. The type of screen you will use varies according to how long you require total focus on a particular task and upon your organization or department.

Chapter 2 - Controlling Interruptions at Work
For you to be an effective manager you must incorporate practices that enable you to control the number and type of interruptions. A key element of your own productivity is ensuring you maintain good working relationships with all colleagues and external partners.

Chapter 3 - Identifying Interruptions at Work
Almost everyone would benefit from a strategy for dealing with incoming calls. For example, use Voicemail or a colleague to field calls whenever possible, learn to 'close out' calls quickly when they have achieved their purpose and always get back to people when promised or they will keep calling you to check progress.

Chapter 4 - Limiting Inappropriate Socializing at Work
The distinction between socializing and networking usually comes down to the topic of the conversation. Generally, if it is work related then it's networking, if it isn't, then it's socializing . The latter are best conducted in your own time, for example, breaks, lunch times or after work.

Chapter 5 - Techniques to Minimize Interruptions at Work
There are some well-known techniques that will help divert interruptions from interfering with your protected periods of time. Many of these are simple to introduce and use in your working practices. You will have to select those most suited to your role and work place.

Chapter 6 - Managing Phone Interruptions at Work
The key to your success is to ensure that you do your best to reduce interruptions by phone. Such calls break into your train of thought and destroy your concentration. This has the dual impact of reducing your effectiveness on you current task and more often than not you have to break off totally to solve or find information required by the interrupting caller.

Chapter 7 - Cold Call Elimination at Work
The only way to avoid being interrupted quite so often is to make it clear to your work colleagues that you check your emails at particular times and if they need an urgent response then they should call you. This is usually quite difficult to get across and you will have to accept that you will upset some people by not replying to their emails straightaway.

Chapter 8 - Managing Your Outbound Calls
Whilst the phone can be a source of major distraction with all the calls you receive, it also an important tool, along with your email, in keeping others informed and up-to-date as required. If these outgoing calls are not managed effectively, they will also become a major interruption to your effective working.

Chapter 9 - How to Stop Constantly Checking Emails
The ubiquity of Smartphones means that most people are now in the situation where they have emails arriving every few minutes. The problem is that it is impossible to know whether an email is important or trivial without looking at it.

You will learn:
  • How to develop a strategy for dealing with incoming calls including cold calls.
  • How to 'close out' phone calls politely once they have achieved their purpose.
  • The importance of body language in dissuading people from interrupting you.
  • Why constant email checking is such a widespread problem and how to tackle it.
  • The importance of dealing with your outbound calls and emails methodically.

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Recommended by Recommended by NetLine

Good Suggestions for Dealing with a Tricky Problem
This is an easy to read guide that makes some good suggestions for dealing with a tricky problem - how to stop people from hassling you at work without being rude or upsetting them.
Andy Bak

Helpful Ideas and Strategies
I downloaded this to see if it was any good and I wasn't expecting to get much from it because I've been on a three day time management course. The first part of the book names and shames the person who is responsible for most of the interruptions to our working day. Which turns out to be ourselves. I had not thought of this before but it made me realize how much I stop productive work to do something else (like FB or checking emails). There are some good ideas in here and they are easy to do as well because you do actually have more control over your time than you think. You should try this book for free before buying a time management book because there is a lot of helpful ideas and strategies in it.
Donna Emmerson

Simple and Effective Ways to Deal with Distractions
I wanted to take the time out to say a few good things about this book I came across on Free Management Books. Managing Interruptions is a short (30 or so pages) book that does a fairly good job of describing how professionals can manage interruptions at the workplace. We all know a few people at work who manage to swoop by at odd times right when we are in the middle of something important. Although these people may not necessarily have malicious intent and just want to chat it up, a few minutes of distraction can ruin hours of work.

I remember how I was recently preparing an income statement for my boss. Although I've done it thousands of times before, this time it was slightly different because the numbers weren't adding up. Specifically, the cost of goods sold heading had a few items under it that could have gone under another heading. So while I was busy trying to figure this issue out, one of my colleagues came in to talk about the ballgame that took place last night. Although I tried to seem slightly unwelcoming, he just kept going on and on about the last minute victory his team had. At this point, I just wish I had read this book on managing interruptions before because I would have been able to handle the situation better.

I say better because I eventually told my colleague to "Go Away". This comment was obviously not taken well by him and since then, we have had an awkward professional relationship. I say I wished I had read this book because it teaches simple and effective ways to deal with distractions at the workplace.

To start with, body language plays a very important role. I failed to realize that rather than propping myself up on the chair and leaning forward, which would indicate that I'm eager to hear what my colleague has to say, I should have pushed myself slightly back in the chair. Rather than abruptly saying "go away", according to this book I should have said something nicely. For example, "Sorry, but I'm in the middle of something, so let's talk about the game as soon as I'm done".

This would have not only achieved the purpose of my colleague leaving my office, but more importantly, it would not have created this strange relationship between us. This book taught me that it's vital to stay polite and still convey your message. That makes it a win-win situation.

Another important topic I enjoyed reading in this book was how to minimize interruptions. The first way is to lead by example, which makes complete sense because if you're the kind of person who loves to walk around the office chatting it up with others, then others will do the same with you when you're working. Also, I totally agree with the point of assertive closers mentioned in this book. We all receive calls during work hours, some important and others not so important. This book teaches how to "assertively close" conversations once the main issue at hand has been discussed. This saves you time to complete more important work.

Besides these two behaviors, there are a few others mentioned in this book which I found useful. However, this book also says to avoid unnecessary meetings. I find that to be inappropriate because in my line of work and position, no meeting is unnecessary. So that is never an option for me, but overall, the remaining content in this book is useful for those who want to minimize interruptions at the workplace.
Matthew Yates


Time Management Skills Examples - These include adopting a 'one-touch' approach to incoming paperwork, optimizing your workspace for efficiency and developing an efficient filing system for electronic documents.

Time Management Strategies - If you want to learn to manage your time better, the first step is to document how you are currently spending it. Surprisingly, most of us do not have an accurate picture of how we spend our time. We may think that we know how long we spend on each task, but these impressions usually turn out to be inaccurate when compared to a detailed time log.

Time Management Tips - Effective time management involves learning to focus on the right things whilst letting go of some of the less important tasks. Whilst time management forwards many proven techniques, you will need to develop a strategy that suits your own needs.

Coping with Stress at Work - At some time or another almost everyone feels as though they have more work than they can cope with. However, not all stress is bad, and it is often cited as a key factor in helping people respond to crises, adapt to change and excel when a peak performance is required; for example, in an interview or presentation. When coping with stress at work, the important thing is not to let your workload grow to the point where you are completely overloaded.

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