Increase productivity by minimising interruptions

We use a simple technique we refer to as the golf swing to minimise interruptions.  It’s a metaphor to explain that when you are playing golf and about to take a shot, if someone interrupts you just as you’re about to make the downward swing to hit the ball, then after the interruption you can’t go back to exactly where you were without some preparation and re-settling yourself in. 

It’s exactly the same with work – if you are in the middle of something and you are interrupted, you need time to get back to the level of focus before your interruption.   So when interrupted by team members/colleagues, who we’ve explained the principle to, we simply say ‘I’m playing golf’ or ‘golf’ and they know we’re in the flow and will get back to them as soon as we can.

  • This is also known more scientifically as ‘context switching’ (you can google it)
  • Switching from one thing to another, for example, multi-tasking with 2 things, does not mean you are operating at 50% on each
  • Some efficiency is lost as you drop the focus on one and switch to another task
  • The more tasks you have ‘on the go’ simultaneously, the lower your productivity in each area – you’ll be surprised how much efficiency you lose if you’re trying to do 3 or 4 things simultaneously!
  • Give it a try – explain it to your colleagues and help each other carve out some uninterrupted time. We found it made us look far more realistically at multi-tasking and understand the power of focused uninterrupted chunks of time

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