How to Manage Interruptions and Distractions at Work, by Nicola Leach, Alliance Work Partners
I admit that one of the things I like about working as a paralegal is that I never know exactly what will happen every day. I may have a mental list of target goals I want to accomplish that day. I may even get to start on at least one. But, emails, telephone calls, co-workers, demands of your clients, and unexpected and last-minute assignments often interrupt my work day. It’s what I call a normal day at the office.
I rely on checklists and our office software to keep me apprised of upcoming deadlines and when an average project has turned into a critical one. Prioritizing what comes first can be a challenge. But the biggest challenge I face is interruptions and distractions that eat away at my productivity.
If you have your own office, you can shut your door. If office drama occurs, heading back to your assigned work area and focusing on anything but the uproar is always the best policy.
But, remember that this door swings both ways. If you have no door to shut or share space with someone else, you must remember that you are not alone. Whenever you talk on the phone, mumble to yourself (I often talk to my computer as if it will pay attention to my demands), or make unnecessary noise, YOU have become the distraction.
Checklists work best for me to be prioritize my work load and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Your case management software might have built-in checklists you can use. If not, write your own. What works for me may not work for you. Regardless of your method, be faithful and turn it into a habit rather than a chore. -CCE
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