• es_ES
  • en_GB
  • es_ES
  • en_GB
hello@groupmainjobs.com 900 812 816

Disruptions and false myths of productivity (I)

Disruptions and false myths of productivity (I)

Disruptions and false myths of productivity (I)

One of the reasons that reduce the productivity of any person in a work context is the interruptions, which can be of two types:


  • Internal
  • External

In both cases we face a fight against the factors or elements that distract us inside "our" head, but also with external variables that we do not control.

In the first case, we must be able to psych ourselves up to avoid falling into false multitasking. It has been proven that the brain is only capable of optimally performing one task at a time, which is why it is convenient that we begin to assume that in our work paradigm we must focus our attention on the now and on a single task at a time. The pomodoro technique It is a perfect way to progressively and gamifiedly train the intrinsic interruptions we have.

In the second case we must make a count of the common microcuts. It is easy to make a list of the most common ones. The key is maximum respect for present task, the touchstone of every good system:

  1. Phone calls: The backbone of many activities is based on the entry and exit of items through this means, that is, they live and die through this means of communication. But there is a key meter, the time/energy consumed by receiving and classifying these contacts, which depends on the person, the interlocutor and the nature of the call. Once this threshold is exceeded, we are unproductive, but the measure to take is clear: stop answering until we are able to resume the rhythm and "burn off" tasks.
  2. Email: It is true that many jobs revolve around this item channel, but the same thing happens with the telephone. If we attend and look at the mailbox frequently, our work will focus on identifying and processing the tasks that arise from this source of items. That is why we must establish specific moments of low activity to carry out a quick review and classification to carry out/execute later.
  3. Smartphone notifications: Only the most important people or work reasons have to be activated and even, in some cases, we must turn off this function that is progressively killing our workflows. 
  4. Requests from colleagues/clients/suppliers: This rain of items must be channeled like a gable roof at two different speeds. A slow one to save time/postpone until the end of the present task and a second, faster one of “two-minute items” that we can do without excessive energy/time consumption.
  5. The end line: On many occasions the lack of planning means that we have to interrupt a task because we have not met deadlines for the completion of another. Sustained personal and collaborative productivity means that deadlines are met and these "last minute surprises" become a thing of the past and stop breaking our workflows as cases of "abyssal" dates collapse.

The solution is not easy, but we propose some that can help and that are a mix of common sense, changing habits and modifying the behavior of those around us:

  • Thinking space: On many occasions it is impossible but, if we can, we must create and generate moments in our work day with a physical space separate from what can interrupt us. We can pick up the laptop/tablet and go to a room or office, perform this task in a teleworking format or any other solution that separates us from the distracting currents of our work context.
  • Physical barriers: A simple partition panel can give us greater privacy and also a tangible hint to those around us so that they interrupt us less. Deep down, the human being pays attention to stimuli and if we are not in sight the "office primate" will leave you alone, unless he climbs a tree to scan the horizon.
  • Modulation of NO and DELEGATION: In any advanced productivity system these two measures are vital to improve our efficiency. Except for those who belong to the Avengers or the Justice League, we normally don't have superpowers that allow us to do everything. That is why we must use the plausible deniability as a tool to not do what does not correspond to us, overwhelms us or is simply out of our reach at the moment due to lack of time or resources. Likewise, we must be able to delegate tasks. No one is essential, therefore, in the event of a possible future collapse or non-compliance, we must be able to assign this task, even temporarily, to another member of the organization.
  • Business closing hours: Just as customers know that there is an "opening and closing" schedule, our environment must understand that at certain times of the workday we are not there to attend to new tasks because we are focused on others. This tacit or real agreement is only achieved through negotiation. If we meet our deadlines in exchange for these "closures", our environment will be able to understand that they will have to wait "for us to open the window" because it is better for the business and the progress of the projects.

If you want more details, you may be interested in listening to the company's podcast: Mobile Productivity, where these and other similar topics are discussed.

Communication Mainjobs