“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey
Just because someone says something is important doesn’t necessarily mean that it is important (this post included). The constant interruption created through our connectivity can be a blessing and a curse….one of the main curses is starting and stopping work for mislabeled emergencies. This hinders our own productivity and can even hamper the quality of our work if it keeps us from being focused.
Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t drop everything for real emergencies, or stretch yourself to assist someone in need, but when people are constantly popping into your office with something they need right now, before you set aside your own work (just to need to restart it again in a few minutes) think of this one thing:
If they wouldn’t interrupt you when you were out to lunch, it isn’t an emergency!
Tell them you’ll get right on it in a few minutes. Let them know you need to finish something up. Go ahead and take 15-30 minutes to finish what you are working on now. This will lead to better quality work and eventually more time for you to be able to assist in the future. Manage your day, don’t let your day manage you.