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Stop Interrupting Me!

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Without a doubt, interruptions in a day can kill your effectiveness. A “list of things to do” is hardly started before the first interruption sends you reeling toward another unproductive day.

It’s important to know who can interrupt you when you are busy and who cannot. To reduce the number of interruptions you receive, draw up the following lists:

  1. People who may interrupt you at any time, such as your spouse or other church ministers.
  2. People who may interrupt you when you are not particularly busy, such as important members of the church.
  3. People who may not interrupt you at all.

These lists can save your day. Keep them in mind and give copies to your support staff and relevant ministers of the church. Ask them to follow these lists as much as possible.

A few good ideas to minimize interruptions:

  • Ask your secretary or assistant to screen calls for you.
  • Stand up and walk towards the door to indicate the end of a meeting.
  • Do not sit down if you are followed into your office.
  • Keep your office door closed when you do not want to be interrupted.
  • Place your chair out of view if your door is open.
  • Place a note on your door explaining that you are unavailable. – “Preparing Sunday’s Message”

The object here is not to be unavailable to people, but rather to create time and space for you to do what only you can do. Perpetual interruptions from well meaning people or those who need constant attention will rob you of your most valuable resource – time. Learn to say “not now” when you are trying to get things done.

 

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