Oh No! Not Another Interruption!

Tired of constant interruptions at work? There are ways to manage them while still being a team player! Thank you Terry, one of our certified career coaches, for this blog post with career advice about how to handle them.

How can you possibly get any work done with coworkers constantly interrupting you throughout the day? Need some tactful suggestions for how to handle “visitors?” Here they are:

  • Put papers, books, or other objects in the chairs by your desk so visitors can’t sit in them.
  • When visitors walk in, stand up and remain standing. After you’ve finished your discussion, walk to the entrance to your cubicle or office, summarize your conversation, thank the visitor for the discussion, break eye contact, and return to your desk.
  • If a visitor stays too long say, “I apologize for interrupting you, but I have another issue to complete. Can we continue our conversation another time?”
  • Position a clock so you can glance at it frequently while you are the one talking.
  • When you don’t want to be interrupted at all, put a note outside of your door or cubicle asking visitors not to disturb you or not to disturb you until after a designated time.
  • Arrange specific appointment times with coworkers with whom you have business to discuss.
  • Close or partially close your door.
  • When you need information, visit others so you can leave when your business is complete.
  • When someone asks if you’ve “Got a minute,” reply:
    • “No, but I could talk to you at 4:00.”
    • “I have just a couple of minutes. If you need longer, I can’t talk right now.”

Feel uncomfortable about implementing these suggestions? Then ask yourself, would you rather implement methods of dealing with interruptions or continue to work overtime? The choice is yours.

Hallie Crawford and Terry Wynne , Ed.S., LPC, BCC
Career Coaches

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