Have you ever been interrupted at work? yes of course! We’ve all been and today we’re going to talk about one simple hack that will dramatically decrease your interruptions and increase your productivity.
So first we are going to talk why interruptions are so bad. Second we are going to talk about the hack and third we are going to talk about the results after you introduced the hack.
Why should you do something against interruptions?
It starts so easily with a tap on the shoulder. Do you have just one minute? Just checking my e-mails, my social media posts or maybe a message on my phone but according to a survey from atlassian the data is quite shocking. 56 interruptions on average every employee has per working day. You are at one task three minutes before you’re going for a next task and every employee needs two hours to recover from interruptions every workday, so here we’re having a huge amount of waste included in our work day with those interruptions. In today’s work environment more than 70 percent are knowledge workers and their key currency is deep work and according to author Cal Newport this is the new super power of the 21st century.
When you want to know more about the topic deep work I highly recommend you this book “Deep Work” from Cal Newport We want to create an environment where people and teams can be at their peak level. How do we achieve this?
According to Cal Newport in the book deep work, he mentions that to produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task, free from distraction. We want to have extended times with full concentration.
And this brings me to the one simple hack. Just put a simple sign at your front door: “Do not disturb – silent hour.” For example every day from 1 to 2 pm. But now you might come up with the argument “I have so many meetings, I cannot have one silent hour for the whole team.” So first of all check out my other video where i’m talking about how to make meetings more productive and second – it’s also in the book “Deep Work” from Cal Newport – maybe introduce Scrum.
Scrum replaces a lot of adhoc messaging with regular highly structured and ruthlessly efficient meetings. So maybe think about introducing something with Scrum when you have issues with too many meetings. What what is the hack when you’re working in a remote setting? Well, it’s basically the same. Discuss with your team when is a good timing for you to have the silent hour or silent hours and then communicate it to your main stakeholders that you’re testing something out for higher productivity of your team and that’s called a silent hour and we will turn off our phones, our messaging channels and if you don’t need it also your internet so you can focus highly on the task at hand and with this you will get less interruptions and higher productivity.
What are the results? First, better products are getting delivered to clients. For example the Boston Consulting Group experienced that after introducing deep work faces for its team members. Secondly, it produces high performance teams and i had the chance to coach one of the teams and introducing the silent hour was one of the major boosts for the team to generate hyper productivity. And third, when your team experience deep work in the silent hour a state of flow becomes possible and in the book “Deep Work” it’s described as: the best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
And we also know that, when we have a state of flow, that also creates happiness. So what do you think, is this one hack worthwhile trying out? What are other hacks you’re using to have less interruptions and more time for deep work?