Amid the hustle and bustle of December is a little gem called No Interruptions Day. It’s celebrated on the last working day of the year, and it’s an opportunity to do a little “housekeeping” around the workspace to get us organized for the new year ahead. With coworkers, bosses and clients starting their holiday vacations and generally powering down, why not spend some uninterrupted time focused on all those things you never quite get around to on a normal day?
It turns out that interruptions come at a high cost to our productivity. A study at the University of California Irvine found that workers are interrupted an average of 20 times in an hour. That can be phone calls, emails, co-worker conversations and the like. And it takes about 23 minutes to get back on task after an interruption. It’s a wonder we get anything done!
This day has even become a thing on social media – post #NoInterruptionsDay to let your followers know you’re signing off for the day to focus on the tasks at hand.
What are some things you could do on this day? In the peace and quiet, you may find time and inspiration to brainstorm new business opportunities for the coming year and make a prioritized list of action items that will impact your company or department’s bottom line.
The Human Resources Council at Forbes came up with a year-end list of ways to keep a team organized and productive during the busy days of December, but many can also be applied to planning ahead for 2019. These include tactical solutions like sitting down and scheduling all tasks (large and small) in your calendar, or creating email inbox rules and filters to finally get a handle on all that incoming communication.
Whatever you decide to tackle, be sure to silence your phone, turn on an out-of-office message, close your door and make the most of it. You’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming in no time!