Questions/Conversation Starters About Interruptions

Review and discuss the following questions and conversation starters with your staff. After the discussion, review your feedback and look for common themes. This will help you begin to formulate strategies for helping staff reclaim their time.

Questions and Conversation Starters About Interruptions From People

  1. Are your colleagues aware of the potential for lost productivity from interruptions and chronic distractions? How can you get them on board with combating distraction?
  2. Can you designate a no-interruption zone that staff can use for tasks that demand focus?
  3. Can your office agree on signals that staff can display to indicate they should not be disturbed?
  4. What are your important sources of interruption? How can you mitigate those?
  5. Do you have checklists and a good organizational system to help you pick critical tasks back up after being interrupted?

Questions and Conversation Starters About Technology Interruptions

  1. Are you bringing your devices with you to places where they do more harm by creating interruptions than they add in productivity? Can you stop bringing your device?
  2. What cues to engage in low- or no-value activity are your devices giving you? Can you eliminate those cues?
  3. What device or applications are your biggest source of distraction? How can you make using that device or app more difficult?
  4. What cues prompt you to pick up your device (e.g., wanting to know the time)? Can you find a lower friction, less distracting way to achieve the desired result (e.g., wear a wristwatch)?
  5. Is there a more positive habit (e.g., calling people personally) that you can associate with your device use that also adds to the friction of using the device?
  6. What immediate reward can you set up for engaging in more constructive behaviors?