We Live in an Interruption Culture


Focus, interruptions, distress, productivityYour office phone rings nonstop with sales pitches while Girl Scouts interrupt you at home to sell those delicious cookies that are only available once a year.

Emails clutter your inboxes, and you send them to the trash while the FedEx package on your desk screams, “Open Me!”

Interruption repeats. Distress manifests. Productivity diminishes.

It’s easy to interrupt people. You’ve been doing it for years. Given the trend over the past two decades, Basex research predicts interruptions will increase at a rate of 5% per year and suggests if the problem is left unchecked, interruptions will occupy the entire workday by 2031.

Don’t think for a minute that other people account for all of our interruptions. If we are honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge that we too are Time Bandits. It’s true. Our minds wander and we actually welcome interruptions.

This much is clear—despite living in an interruption culture, work must go on. But how? You know the problem, but what’s the solution? You invest in time-management tools, but do they show you how to eliminate interruptions or do they simply teach you how to organize your task list?

One effective solution is Focal Locking, which requires you to focus on the task at hand and resist the temptation of distractions. In order to successfully Focal Lock, you must commit to not interrupt yourself. After all, we are our worse interrupter. Consider the financial and productivity benefits of eliminating interruptions from your life. What would you do with 3–5 extra hours per day? Accomplish more at work? Spend more time with family? Or maybe some “me” time?

I promise you, Focal Locking is doable. Learn more about interruptions and Focal Locking at www.stwm.com.

Rhonda Nelson is Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cohen Brown Management Group.

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