The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2012 - (Page 66)

MANAGING INTERRUPTIONS HUMAN RESOURCES Be Polite, Be Honest and Get To It BY STEVE MCCLATCHY D o you ever have days that can be described as “putting out fires” all day or accomplishing more of other people’s work than your own? The actual amount of time during the workday that you spend doing productive and focused work may be less than you’d like to admit. Your ability to remain productive in the face of interruptions has a great impact on your success and the success of your organization. How can you train yourself to stay on task and be productive throughout a day plagued with unpredictable interruptions? To help you manage these interruptions, here are a few rules and tips that are easy to master and promise to give you better control over your valuable work time and your productivity. Keep a Two Minute Interruption to Two Minutes When someone sees you in person or reaches you on the phone with a seemingly brief issue, the best way to set the tone for sticking to business is to tell the other person exactly what you are doing and ask a pointed question about the nature of the interruption. For example: “Hey Mike, great to see you. I was just reading through my emails. Is this something quick or do you want to schedule some time together?” Even a short directive like “How can I help you?” or, my favorite for phone calls, “What had you thinking of me?” can quickly steer toward what I call the work of the interruption and away from small talk when you don’t have the time for it. Work that comes from interruptions falls into one of three categories: the interruption is either a task that someone wants you to complete; an appointment they want you to schedule; or an exchange of information. If the work of the interruption is a task on your to do list (“Call Sam with the revenue figures”) or an appointment on your calendar (“Meeting with Bob at 2 p.m.”), then by asking a pointed question you will be able to keep these interruptions to just a minute or two. 66 MHEDA |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2012

President’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
MHEDA Member Profile
At Work
Best of the Best Distributors
Training and Engaging Technical Talent
For a Successful Onboarding Experience… Be Prepared and Make Time for New Hires
Analyzing the DiSC Results
Help Stamp Out Budgeting
Distributor Salespeople Reveal Their Greatest Challenges
When Sales People Become Bread Men
The Why and How of Twitter
Managing Interruptions: Be Polite, Be Honest and Get to It
MHEDA Convention 2012
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA University Calendar
MHEDA Milestones
New Products
Index of Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2012