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Successful Time Management For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Dirk Zeller

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Chapter 15

Defending Your Day from Interruptions

In This Chapter

  • Keeping intruders out of your workspace
  • Making sure interruptions are short
  • Managing interruptions from co-workers
  • Reining in disruptive managers
  • Keeping customer incursions at bay

Within the past two decades, people have embraced communication technology. But in many ways, these miracles of convenience have robbed workers of their ability to control their own time. Multiplying points of access — voice mail, email, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, social media, texting, and of course, the cell phone — can shackle you like a house-arrest ankle bracelet, sentencing you to a life-term of perpetual availability. Business colleagues can track you down on vacation, and friends can interrupt an important client presentation. I'm not sure I'd describe this as progress, but it's inarguably a fact of modern life.

Consider this: Every one of these interruptions — no matter how small or insignificant — robs you of at least 5 additional minutes of productive time. Whether your spouse calls and talks to you for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, you can subtract at least 5 more minutes from your day. And then there's the text from a friend about last night's date … by the time your focus is rechanneled again, you have just lost another 5 minutes. Tally up 20 to 40 interruptions over the course of your day, and you lose nearly 2 to 4 hours of productivity — and that totals to the loss of 36 to 72 hours a month!

Distractionitis ...

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