You’re in the midst of work then …
Or you’re finishing a 97% complete report then ….
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Okay. Familiar? I can imagine your blood pressure rising when that happens. What is an interruption? An interruption is anything that seizes your attention from an activity you have chosen to do to for an activity that someone else has purposely or inadvertently chosen for you. Interruptions are normally random and without any consideration for the importance of, or impact on, your time and your personal priorities. Interruptions chew up time and energy. They cost you loads of money if you consder wasted man hours.
There are two primary causes of interruptions you face daily at home or at the office: telephones and people dropping by. The telephone rings, and you automatically pause what you are doing to answer it. The doorbell rings, and the same thing happens regardless of the importance of the task at hand. Someone is forcing you to switch gears instantly even though it is not your choice. “I’m not interrupting, am I?” is the typical remark. “Of course not,” you answer politely without an ounce of integrity. Whether people interrupt you in person or on the telephone, they always seem to have something on their minds that just can’t wait.
The time wasted because of an interruption extends beyond than the time span of the actual interruption. For instance, you are focusing on writing a report, business plan, or important letter when your concentration is shattered by the ringing of your phone. Not only do you lose the time you actually talk on the phone, but it will normally take you several additional minutes to regain your focus and get back up to speed with what you were working on. Switching gears takes time.
The good ole phone has become the primarysource of interruptions. Fact us, it is an electronic tool designed to interrupt. For some reason you and I were ledt to believe that when the telephone beckons, all else must be dropped in a race to answer it before it stops bleating. That habit is like having someone follow you around yelling “Freeze” twenty times a day and expecting you to stop in your tracks for three to ten minutes each time. The danger is that old phone habits unnecessarily eat up hours of your valuable time – time that cannot be replaced.
Your level of effectiveness in life is determined both by the number of hours you have available to work on specific objectives and by how effectively you use those hours. The more time that wasted, the less efficient you become.
Heeding the phone just because it rings means bequeating your time and attention to someone else at but a moment’s notice. Obviously, winning your goals and dreams becomes far more difficult when you are constantly working someone else’s agenda and at someone else’s pace. The fact that a ringing telephone is given highest priority shows how illogical people have become about the use of Graham Bell’s little toy.
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