Home > Uncategorized > Interruptions are…Hey what’s going on over there?

Interruptions are…Hey what’s going on over there?

The blog: PR-Squared.
The author: Todd Defren
The publication date: October 4, 2010.
Title of the Article: Interruptions are Evil.

The beginning of this month, Todd Defren posted an article on his blog www.pr-squared.com entitled “Interruptions are Evil.” As a father of six children, I live in a world of interruptions, admittedly sometimes welcomed. My wife and I feel an eerie stillness once all the children are tucked into bed. We laugh about it, but it is still, well weird. How has it evolved that life is now one interruption after another?

Sleep is doomed to interruptions as well. Yesterday, my son thought I had had enough sleep, and woke me up by stomping on my gut. I’m certain that parents reading this can probably drum up worse stories than that.

Well, Mr. Defren posted an article about how interruptions consume the workday. I submit that if your ‘job’ is to be a stay-at-home parent then his article acutely applies to you as well.

Mr. Defren quoted a statistic from a 2005 U.C. Irvine study that found that once started, workers were interrupted in an average of 11 minutes. It took 25 minutes for them to return to an efficient work pace after the interruption.

That would not happen to me now would it? I work in a factory while getting through school and there is no way we could get away with distractions amid the machines and workloads we are tasked with in a day. I understand home life…but a factory workday? Well…

I took a mental note yesterday of how interruptions affected my workday. Admittedly I was being trained on a new machine, so I almost felt as though it was a sure bet there would be no interruptions.

To my shock I could barely make it 30 minutes before being pulled away from my training! Other employees would want to shoot the bull, I would be asked to read and sign a memo from the administration, or I would be asked a question and be drawn into a conversation about running machines in another area of the plant. 30 minutes. Wow.

Mr. Defren proposed turning off all instant messaging, facebook windows, and twitter accounts for a specified period of time during the workday. This would guarantee a focused and productive work environment. Factory work however forbids these interactions anyway, so I submit that every employee must learn to ‘unplug’ themselves while working. This may be a pipe dream, but it is the only way to get through an uninterrupted workday.

As for me, I cannot take my own medicine! I tried to do this at the start of the shift, but failed miserably! Too many people want to say hello, or ask a question, or ask about my kids! I curved my answers to promote a shorter conversation, but could not cold-shoulder anyone. It’s not my nature.

So I wish to you all out there better luck than me. A focused workday is a productive one. I will keep trying to focus my energies at work in order to…wait just a second…I need to answer a question!

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