Monthly Archives: October 2013

Don’t Interrupt Me When I’m Interrupting You


workflow, time management, interruptions, Winston Churchhill, Edward G. Brown, Cohen Brown Management Group

Today’s workplace has changed dramatically, especially since the economic downturn of 2008. The ongoing recovery has created a work environment that constantly requires companies to do more with less.  In turn, employees are expected to work not just harder but “smarter” as well.

Employers are demanding hiring freezes and downsizing through leveraging time and innovative opportunity. These events are generating time and workflow backfire and the “fall out” is apparent.

As a result of lowered morale, self-esteem, and distress stimulated by unrealistic productivity goal demands, productivity has actually been decreasing instead of increasing. People are either losing focus in order to abate the mental and physical overload or are so overwhelmed without sufficient staff, backup or even basic knowledge about how to perform roles and tasks, that interruptions are abounding, more frequently, stress and distress.

The solution can be found in those companies that understand unwanted, unnecessary and completely unproductive interruptions.

When Churchill said “Don’t interrupt me when I’m interrupting,” certainly he was speaking of those who steal time from those who need more time.

The concept and practice of time management has never been so popular as it is today. Hundreds of books are being published on the subject annually, along with gurus, coaches and proponents of time management, eager to tell us “what to do” in order to solve our problems. Yet many of us still seem to not be able to get a firm grasp on it – at all.

It’s time for an intervention.

While there are numerous solutions to time management, none of them address the core problem which is eliminating unwanted and unnecessary interruptions.

So, what’s the intervention solution? Do you “just say no?” While you might have the urge to do so, in a work environment, to, “just say no,” could be suicidal. I’m guessing you may want to keep your job, clients, friends, and perhaps your freedom.

For over 35 years, I have consulted with hundreds of companies on change management solutions that permanently alter the mindsets of participants. The challenge is to get your “interrupters,” who by the way, have no consideration for your time, loss of momentum, work quality or your stress level, to understand how important it is to eliminate interruptions in order to increase your productivity and/or better serve the needs of your clients.

It is my experience that, a management/employee culture change, which treats time as a precious commodity, versus something that can easily be replenished, can and does succeed in not only recovering time, but adding time they didn’t know they even had.

I don’t have another self-help time-management program. What I DO HAVE is an innovative proven process for ensuring that workers can manage their time, workflow, and stress which in turn will raise their performance levels impressively. Some programs will only tell you WHAT to do to manage your time. I can show you HOW; how to recover lost or stolen time due to interruptions.

The important question now is, “What would you do with up to 2 additional hours in a day?”

Edward G. Brown is President, Co-Chairman, and co-founder of Cohen Brown Management Group, the leading sales and service culture change specialist for the financial services industry.