Work-batching and time-blocking are great methods for maintaining productivity but as Barry Davret says in his article The Time Management Secret Nobody Talks About, there’s a lot less advice on how to handle disruptions.
And at some point, disruptions are bound to happen.
We can try our best to control our environments but there are too many variables. The only real thing within our control is ourselves. #stoicism
In times when we find our well-planned schedules disrupted — like when you’re heading home to meet a deadline and get into a car accident — Davret suggests that we take a step back, instead of reacting with rage or indulging in self-pity / a complain fest.
He provides a checklist of questions that we should ask ourselves, to take us out of a “knee-jerk emotional reaction” and decide our next course of action.
I’ve found that most cases of disruption to my schedule are out of my control. Disruption in the form of interruptions or distractions are things that I’ve factored into my work day.
These can be minimised or controlled by doing things like scheduling time for providing updates (so you don’t get asked), turning off notifications, saying “no”.
Task transition journalling is also a great way to identify what my disruptors are and figure out a strategy to minimise them.