Motivational Keynote Speaker Jody Urquhart
While you are reading this newsletter you will be interrupted. How do we know?
The average person in a leadership position gets one interruption every 8 minutes, this equals 7 interruptions per hour which equals 50 -60 interruptions per day.
The average interruption takes 5 minutes- Totaling well over 40% of the workday. (IHM Research, 2002). Consider this leadership doing big things spend over a quarter of the day distracted.
8% of those interruptions are of little or no value creating 3 hours of wasted time per day. (Wetmore, Donald E,Time Management Facts and Figures). Yikes.
In a leadership seminar leaders say unanimously interruptions are some of the biggest time wasters around, literally draining productivity.
To add insult to injury when interrupted you tend to go into multitasking mode where you continue doing what you were doing and do several other things at the same time. This creates a lot of stress and negatively impacts overall health and wellness. It may not surprise you to know that multitasking overall decreases productivity and morale levels.
The truth is you cannot focus on more than one thing at a time (just try to add two math equations at the same time in your head, you can’t), instead what you are doing is quickly switching your attention from one task to the next and slowing down overall productivity. Not surprisingly, multitasking has also been shown to dramatically increase errors and mistakes on the job.
Limit Interruption and Decrease Errors & Mistakes - The simple things make a difference.
LIMIT Interruptions. First, keep a journal and write down every time you are interrupted at work for at least five days.
Next, analyze who interrupted you (you may find it is the same people or the same problems) and why they interrupted you.
Determine how you can limit these interruptions in the future. For instance, set it up to have times during your day when you “allow” interruptions, leadership can have a standard protocol for dealing with interruptions( below), if it is the same information being asked write it down, offer training on dealing with critical incidents, conflict….etc.
Leadership Protocol for dealing with interruptions should explain…What is the best way to interrupt someone, (email, phone call, in person, text)? When, and for what reasons? What is considered an emergency?
I have heard of one organization that has a designated person who their whole job is to deal with interruptions.
Decide on work priorities
Prioritize To- Do Lists every day
Work with a clean desk
Limit multitasking to only the brainless activities
Deal with it. Don’t shuffle paper or emails around. Do it ASAP and commit to never “touching” the same transaction more than once
Don’t pick up emails the minute you get them, or every 5 minutes to an hour- (this is a tremendous timewaster). Pick up email messages at a set time every day and educate people to let them know when to expect a reply.
Can you leadership delegate anything? Just for a moment assume everyone you work with is at least as competent as you (and happen to have more time on their hands) - than answer the question.
Spend time with people you love. The average working person spends less that two minutes per day engaged in meaningful conversation with there spouse. They spend much more time talking to their dog ( because their dog listens)
Read one hour per day 365 days per year you can learn at the rate of a full time student. In 3-5 years the average person can become an expert on the topic of their choice.
Make a BIG change now- do all of the above not in steps but all at once. According to renowned cardiologist, Dr Dean Ornish, it is often easier to make sweeping behavioral changes all at the same time.
Ignore or filter advertising. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Business people are exposed to approximately 500 advertisements every day. More than 80% won’t be relevant or applicable to them. Good Leadership Qualities involve filtering and focusing on what is important and relevant.
I hope these ideas help. Of course my favorite idea to increase focus and productivity is to lighten up and have some fun; you can do it right now by simply smiling for no reason at all!
Every time you smile and have fun at work you give yourself a shot of endorphins which gives you energy, zest and enthusiasm. You also increase oxygen levels to your brain which makes you more focused and productive, you instantly decrease stress hormones in the blood stream. This is only the start of it….
New brain research by Dr Candace Pert suggests that when we laugh or smile we are using our brain to its highest capacity!