Do Not Disturb: Productivity in Progress

It’s Monday morning and you’ve just finished your team meeting. You’re looking at your task list for the week and, despite it being much longer than you’d like, you’re feeling good. You grab a cup of coffee and throw in your headphones, time to get down to busi... “Have you seen the new Google logo?! Why would they do that?! It’s just not right”.

Steve from marketing is desperately trying to engage you in conversation to procrastinate on his workload, but he has no idea you’re trying to get in the zone. You give a quick “Yes. I don’t know. Ok.” and try to regain your momentum. You’ve just started in when Gary from sales texts you the latest Grumpy Cat meme (no one cares, Gary!). You turn on Do Not Disturb just in time to miss a text from Sheryl asking you to explain an earlier email, which means you’ll now have to have that conversation in person. This goes on and on, turning your potentially productive day into a nightmare of short conversations, comments and distractions.

(CC) Phil and Pam

While the frustrated introvert inside of you is begging you to shut yourself in a dark room where no one can get to you, this too would cause many problems. As I’ve stated in previous posts, ongoing communication is key to the health of your team and effectiveness of collaboration, so how do you balance both the need to stay in constant conversation with your team and the reality that productivity is crushed if co-workers are constantly popping by your office for a quick chat? What is the solution?

(All together now!) Non disruptive communication!

Non disruptive communication begins with an open channel for conversation designated specifically for you and your team - this is the communication part. Allowing team members to have access to you and each other throughout the day minimizes the risk of missing important information. It also enforces the idea that team members’ thoughts are valuable by encouraging collaboration.

The second half, and this is the important part, is that it needs to be non disruptive. This means being able to quickly read and reply to messages when necessary without having to totally come away from your work. This should also mean being able to mute blatantly distracting conversations in order to receive only important, relevant messages.

In our office, we will often opt to message each other over verbally communicating, even though we are only a few feet away. This is because we know that once someone’s “in the flow”, trying to get their attention is like trying to stop a freight train - it can take a long time to pull them away from their work to get a helpful response and even longer, if at all, for them to get back to their former level of productivity.

Consider how your team currently handles internal communications and look for ways to implement non disruptive communication.

Whether you’ve realized it or not, email, text messages, and live conversations alone won’t cut it if you really want to get things done. Consider how your team currently handles internal communications and look for ways to implement non disruptive communication. It’s effects are far-reaching as it will keep everyone informed and eliminate unnecessary meetings.

Cover photo found here