Where do you stand on interruptions?
September 26, 2018

Twenty-seven minutes. I timed it. That’s how long it took to read Darrell something interesting I’d found online, to listen to him tell me a funny story related to that, to search for and watch a short video related to that, and finally to get back in touch with the friend who’d inspired everything.

Which is no problem at all. Good friends aren’t interruptions. They’re what make work fun.

But it reminded me how finite our time is. A career consultant once quoted research that showed interruptions cost the average worker in the United States between two and three hours a day. Which amounts to almost six hundred billion dollars a year in lost productivity! “Not only that,” the consultant added, “but most managers lose sixty minutes a day to clutter. They can’t find what they’re looking for on that big pile of stuff on their desk.”

“It makes me think we’re very efficient in the time we’re actually working,” I told him. “That’s one way to look at it,” he said.

Here’s another way to look at it, courtesy of Dick Bolles: “Your to-do list is your plan. Interruptions? God’s plan. Always ask, ‘Is it possible God sent this person?’” Or as I would put it: “You’re not the only one writing your life story. And, you know, thank heavens.”