The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday printed a story about all the interruptions to which we are subjected in our offices. Most of them come from the gizmos we either bring with us or are provided by employers.
We start out with desk computers, then add smart phones, then add iPads or some other electronic tablet. And finally, there’s the old fashioned telephone, the old-fashioned radio we may have playing in the background. Add to that the stuff in the snack drawers in our desks, and it is a wonder we get anything done.
That’s certainly true in my case. The other day, while playing with my iPhone, I discovered something new about it, and had to spend time going around the office telling people about this wonderful discovery. Not only was I taking myself away from what I laughingly call my work, I was also interrupting the work of my colleagues. See what I mean?
I find that the best way to get work done is to close the door of my office, shut off my cell phone and tell the telephone-answerer to please take messages and tell callers I will get back to them.
“What shall I tell the callers you are doing?” the answerer may ask. “Tell them I am working,” I reply. “They won’t believe that,” is the response. People will call me on my cell phone, in that case. Although I will have it turned off, it nevertheless will rattle and drive me nuts. I will look at the cell phone screen to see who is calling, and usually it is somebody I want to talk to, so I answer it.
Then, as I am finishing the cell phone call, someone will stick his or her head into my office and ask me for a moment of time. By then, I usually forget what I am doing. In fact, I forgot I was doing this.
“It shows,” you probably think.