MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — How often have you left work for the day and felt disappointed that you didn’t get more accomplished?
It’s a common challenge for many of us is effective time management, and it’s easy to see why. In a typical work day we are distracted dozens of time by new emails, phone calls, text messages, meetings and people stopping by to ask questions.
We talked with a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management who has done research on the effect of interruptions. Dr. Sophie Leroy says when we try to do too many things at one time, our brains simply can’t keep up and the quality of our work suffers.
Leroy offered on solution.
“So let’s assume you are working on a report and you have a client calling or your boss stops by and wants you in his office, say ‘Can, you give me a second? I am going to get ready.’ As you do that, take a second to write down what you are doing right then before the interruption, and more importantly, what you need to do next. Just by doing that, you are allowing your brain to close what you were doing, allowing it to let it go and move on to the next thing,” Leroy said.
Dr. Leroy gave us a few suggestions on how to improve productivity at work.
Again, we need to recognize we need transition time between tasks. When you leave one thing to go do something else, make a note of where you are in the current task and what you need to do when you pick it back up again. It essentially mentally closes the file.
Also, if there is something that really requires focus, if for just 10 or 15 minutes, close your email, allow your calls to go to voice mail and maybe even leave your normal work space and go to a quiet place so that you can concentrate on that one thing exclusively for a moment.
Dr. Leroy has written a few articles about effective time management that were published in magazines.