4 Tips To Handle Constant Interruptions


Interruptions are a common issue that all leaders must deal with, while also working to deliver on their own responsibilities. Constant interruptions will negatively impact your productivity.

With one about every 10 minutes, they can take up to 25 minutes in recovery time. Use the following tips to take control of your time and to reduce the effect of interruptions:

  1. Pre-emptively set “off-limit” times with your team. Explain that it’s to better manage your time--not to ignore them. This gives your team permission to do the same.
  2. Ask team members to bring a list of questions to their weekly one-on-ones. Answering questions in batches saves everyone time.
  3. Kindly but firmly ask if the interruption can be handled later.  Then schedule a time to address the interruption.
  4. Set an example by turning off, or setting aside, all communication devices during meetings and peak work times.

While too many interruptions can limit you, too few might mean you’re unavailable. Remember, your job as a leader is to develop others. Your team's, not your personal results, should be your first priority.


Leading people is vastly different from working as an individual contributor. Download our latest guide to make the mental leap to leader:

About the Author

Todd Davis

Todd Davis has over 30 years of experience in human resources, training and training development, executive recruiting, sales, and marketing. Todd is currently a member of the FranklinCovey Executive Team where he serves as the Chief People Officer. He is also a bestselling author with two books to his credit, Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work and Talent Unleashed: 3 Leadership Conversations for Tapping the Unlimited Potential of People.

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