Dealing Effectively with Interruptions

This is where the rubber meets the road. If you are an active person, you deal with this one for sure. If you a business owner or manager, this is your life and the life of your team. Interruptions.

So what do you do if you are waiting on a customer, and the telephone rings? What do you do if you are composing an important letter, and e-mail is flooding into your inbox? Do you turn your phone off during meetings? Do you text under the table? E-mail. Cell phones. Texting. Open door policies. We live in a culture that is designed for interruption.

My challenge for you is to take control and ownership of each and every moment. All of this technology can be a wonderful servant, but it is a terrible master. If the technology gets the upper hand, then you become a slave! But before you blame technology and the culture, take a closer look….at yourself.

If you are drowning in a sea of interruption, overwhelm, and multitasking, then you have lost control. You have likely been infected with the desire to please everyone and have surrendered your freedom to the tyranny of the urgent. The remedy is to get crystal clear on your values and priorities, and then choose your actions in line with those priorities. To be the best you can be, then it is imperative that you drop the fear of what others think of you, and do what you want to do.

On the top of that list is preparation. How do you prepare for each and every day, physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially? Please consider what you are doing for that first hour or two after you awaken to face the day. How you invest that time is key to effectively dealing with the daily hubbub. Starting the day relaxed, prepared, organized, and excited is the path to happiness and effectiveness. That doesn’t just happen. It is the result of choosing preparation as the first priority.

Second, while you prepare for your day, choose your big rocks – two or three commitments that will absolutely happen. Allow the rest of the day to fill in around those two or three big rocks. When you get fearless and consistent in this habit, amazing things will begin to appear in your life.

Finally, commit to being fully present and engaged with whatever you choose to do. If I am meeting with you, then while I am in that meeting, you are my world, and nothing else matters. If I am writing an article, it is the most important project in the world. Cell phones are off, e-mail is silent, and I’m fully available to that one thing only at that moment. Even if it is an afternoon nap or 30 minute TV show!

One key to living this way is learning to openly communicate to others. For example, when I choose to take your call, I will not put you on hold, or talk to anyone else, or answer an e-mail or text. I am yours 100%. Consequently, when I am with someone else, I won’t be taking your call, or answering your text at that moment. I give myself completely to whomever I choose to be with. If that is not ok with you, then that is your problem, not mine. And if that is ok with you, then we are going to really have some fun together.

In conclusion, to deal effectively with interruptions, you take control and choose when you want to be interrupted, and when it is unacceptable.

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