Do you have a minute? How about now? …or now?
Are you struggling with controlling interruptions that are hampering your productivity? This week, the ProductivityCast team looks at the issues surrounding interruptions and how we can do our best to mitigate and manage them when they happen.
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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
And Welcome back, everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:24
I am Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:26
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:27
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:25
Welcome to the show everybody. And we are going to today be talking about interruptions, and really about controlling interruptions. So what we thought we would do today is we would talk about the various types of interruptions that we all experience Francis was actually talking about before we started recording, that is those things that are external to us, not necessarily self interruptions, which we could call and define as, say, distractions. But more importantly, the things that are external things that we don’t necessarily always have control over. And they interrupt our productive flow. And we need to be able to get back to being productive. And that’s what we’ll spend the second half of the show talking about, which is how do we how do we see ourselves back on to our productive pads for the day, when we are interrupted? What are the what are the major interruptions that happen throughout their work weeks,
Francis Wade 1:20
I’d say unexpected emergencies, things that I don’t expect to happen.
Unplanned, actually, I’m dealing with one right now, I have my brakes on my car fixed, and it looks as if they didn’t fix it properly. So it’s feeling a little spongy. So I have to take, it’s going to take I don’t know, three hours, although today that I didn’t plan on having the plan to work during those other be productive, longer waiting around at the shop to get the brakes looked at. So emergencies. And then there are there are people who don’t realize that I’m in a particular kind of focus on. And they might just interrupt just, you know, innocently, but the effect is the same Nonetheless, the my productivity dips, and my goals don’t get accomplished for the day.
Augusto Pinaud 2:13
You know, and I will add to what Francis just said, a little distinction between those emergencies, because they are what I will call the real emergencies. Okay, the ones that you there is there is no, you can control they happen. Okay, and those are one kind of a customer calling. Fine, you can control those. And the other ones that are Hello, the worst are the ones that are the lack of planning, okay, it’s one now the other person emergency and they are trying to come to you to interrupt you and your own flow to make that also your emergency. Okay.
And they’re different than you know that they’re different from the customer. But they are at the end of the day interruptions, you know, they there is
there are problematic and for some people will there are kids in for interruptions. You know, I work out of work, and I work at home, and I work in many places. And well, sometimes you are with the kids, and it’s a matter of trying to kids, you know, Mike, my kids know to interrupt if there is an important, but let’s clarify that’s important on their world, not our mind. So you need that’s something that you need consistently tweak on work with them. So that way they understand really what the word importance, important means. So that way they interrupt, interrupt less or interrupt one is more relevant.
Art Gelwicks 3:46
Yeah, I’ll go with the easy list. And the low hanging fruit ones, the the emails that you get the three off track the notifications that show up on your chosen mobile device, I the instant messages that up in the corner of your screen indicating something that you need to do the phone calls that come in, and the the all time favorite the drive by or shoulder touch, somebody walks up to you and says, Hey, I need you to do something, all those interruptions will throw you off track
Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:14
all around us out with my my worst interruptions that happened to me, which are technology failures, or they may be failures, but they’re just something’s not working right now. And so therefore I have to divert my attention to fix that technology issue. And that could very well be the pen ran out of ink to some, you know, software is now having some kind of bug or glitch. And it’s not working the way that it should, which should be a productivity enabler, and now it’s becoming a productivity inhibitor. And so having to divert deal with that equipment failure, it, you know, derails me and not particularly a bad one, which is that when clients call that is not a common occurrence. For me, most of my client communications happened via email. And so we’re calling clients when necessary, but we primarily communicate by email with our clients, or through our client portal. So the client call is is a clear interruption, a good interruption, you know, I’d love to hear from my clients. But the reality is, is that that is that is it’s it’s so uncommon today. That it’s it’s it’s it’s an adjustment that I have to make from concentrating on what I was doing on screen, and then having to you know, field a phone call, either through a call desk or whatever. So it’s a it’s it’s definitely an interruption in my world. And again, like I said, it’s not a bad interruption, it just happens to be an interruption. And so great. So I, I’ve got a list here now of emergency and non emergency interruptions from Francis, as well as people not realizing you’re focusing on a project. That’s what I heard from Francis from a gusto. I heard children. And,
and then, art from you, I heard email, instant messages or any kind of chat clients, mobile notifications, phone calls, and then coffee clutching, you know, people walking up to you and wanting to have a chit chat. And then I had tech issues and client calls. So that fits into your phone calls issue. So we can kind of ignore that one. Because phone calls or phone calls. Let’s try to deal with these kind of in that order, then and start off with how do you deal with emergency versus non emergency interruptions? And, and more importantly, when they happen? How do you how do you prepare yourself to get back on track with regard to let’s let’s start with emergency interruptions? Say the building fire alarm goes off? Or the brakes on your car are not quite working? Well, which you know, that’s important. So
do you have a rubric in place for being able to deal with emergency interruptions?
Francis Wade 6:59
I wish I said I could say that I have some fancy, fancy triage method, I sort of do what agosto does, which is to prepare people around me for for moments when I need to be non not interrupted. So I think it’s
if I think of it, I think I plan my day based on when I want when I can be interrupted. And when I can’t. So I stopped from my needs first, I guess. And then if I’m in a non interrupted zone, I try to turn things off, turn off all the reminders on my phone, I might even turn off the phone. I don’t get that many calls. But But I could do it. That let me turn off reminders on the screen pop ups, anything that might stop me, I closed on Windows, and set my stop me from staying in the flow state or doing deep work.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:53
And just so for just so for listeners, Francis, this isn’t a non emergency situation.
So the fire alarm is not going off. This is just generally right. Okay, good.
Francis Wade 8:03
But when I still have the same, can I start with me first, that’s that was my schedule first. So my intention is still pure at that point.
And when I’m in the flow state, or when I need to be not interrupted, then it’s church, then it’s depending on the emergency that’s happening in the moment. And I tried to punt anything, that’s not even the brakes. For example, for example, my wife had told me that the brakes weren’t working, and she had just come back in, and she’s safe, and I’m safe. That’s not an emergency in the sense that I need to bought myself out of the flow state in order to deal with it, I can deal with it when I’m finished. It’s not worthy of breaking my concentration. So but but there are decisions that have to be made, when I’m in that zone, I think all of my sort of
let’s call them routines, are based on being in that or not being in that zone. Because then I’m not in that zone, then I can deal with any kind of random interruptions or any kind of emergencies, or I can jump from one task to the other, I don’t really care as much. I really care about those moments when I need to be in the zone when I need to be in the flow state. That’s that’s when it’s sort of the purest, most important mission critical work that I am sort of arranging my world to preserve.
Augusto Pinaud 9:31
It depends really on the kind of emergence. Okay, if it’s as you were describing something that cannot be avoided, okay, hey, Big Boss, coming to the office doesn’t matter what you’re doing that if that interruption will happen, and you can say, Oh, no. Okay, can I get back to you in an hour, that is not going to happen? Fire alarm rings? Well, you know, as much as you want to ignore the fire alarm, you know, if you don’t move, the fire marshal will make sure that you move. So when Darren those kind of emergencies, the assessment need to be what I need to do. Okay, to try to get back into the state of production, I want number one. And number two, what I need to do to make sure that I can have any kind of production when I get to the next place that I’m going, okay? Because if it’s a fire alarm, yes, you need to grab the laptop as quick as you can. But you need to make sure you grab whatever you can, that is going to allows you to get functional again, as soon as possible. Those interruptions, the second kind are the ones that maybe urgent interruptions on the other person perspective, okay, like the coffee buys the guy who tapped on the shoulder, can I talk to, you know, MBC. But
those do need to assess on a different way. So first thing is make sure before you allow the actual full interruption to happen, to leave yourself a clue of where your thinking thought was. So that way, you can go back faster. Okay. Hemingway, used to said that you write until the climax and then walk away, you never walk away on a boring spot. Because if you walk away in a boringness, but you’re never going to be able to come back. So you need to try to leave yourself that clues. So that way you can come back to whatever it is that you were doing otherwise, then when you come back, you need to start for trying to figure it out where you were and where do you miss that point. And that takes seconds with practice. So that way you can actually come back then is now assess if this interruption an important thing that this other human being have a really worth or your attention right now. Or, if possible, you can tell them I can I get back to you in half an hour, and then you explain it to me. Okay, or 10 minutes or 15 minutes, or whatever it is. So, but that is an assessment that you somehow need to do in seconds, but need to be ready to do at any moment. That’s so far the best way I have found to deal with those interruptions. That happened to the day there is nothing you can do about it.
Art Gelwicks 12:29
Yeah, for me, it’s a matter of a mental decision I did a long time ago, which is to give myself permission to have emergencies. One of the things I see so many people run into as a hang up is they almost have this guilt, about having to stop what they’re doing because something else happened that is interrupting them at an emergency level not talking about non emergency because that’s prioritization and evaluation. But let’s say the fire alarm goes off. I’ve literally seen people you know, taking time to finish up what they’re doing. You know what, there is nothing that is that important that it warrants you having to do things that could possibly risk, you know, personal safety, other things, more major things. Give yourself permission to have an emergency, have an interruption and then be able to circle back. Yeah, make a mental note, make a stick a post it note of exactly what you were doing or where you need to pick up That’s it, but then go deal with the situation.
If we spend our time trying to figure this out and feel bad about Oh, my kids sick, but I really should be at work. You know what? Get your priorities straight.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 13:41
Let’s move along to the idea of children interrupting How do you deal with children interruptions?
Augusto Pinaud 13:48
Yes, and children interruptions are have three factors. Okay, one factor is the kit. Okay, I have two kids, my oldest, you could have from Little it’ll, it’ll it’ll it’ll tell her to play on that corner, I’m going that is going to have a meeting and she will be as quiet as reasonable frickin Okay, my youngest one instead that require a lot more work to get him to that stage that said, it is possible for them to understand, hey, that is working, that is having a meeting and I need you to not interrupt me unless is important. The key there is that when the kids come? The first question is is this important. And let them assess the importance of whatever they are going to tell. It may have syrup importance for you. Okay, the importance may be the TV show ends, okay. And I cannot watch any more TV that has zero level of importance or relevance in your world. But it’s not about the importance, you are not asking the kid, only interrupt me when he’s important for me, you’re saying only interrupt me when he important. So after the kid comes on, interrupt you now you need to teach them what is important and what may not be that important, even though it seems important on their world when you do that work, and yes, it is a consistent work, what happened is, kids come to realize there are things that right now are not important. And then they come and not interruption kind of stay for a really long periods of time sitting on their corner. plane and drawing and doing this stuff wild, you have those meetings almost interrupted without interruptions. But one of the things I see often is, people want them to understand from your perspective, what that important is, from their perspective from, from your perspective, why they should or should not interrupt. And I think with kids specifically, that’s one the most important distinctions.
Sometimes with humans, but but at least with kids is for sure, that you need to understand is from their perspective, not for any other. So
it is possible to teach kids not to interrupt to sit on a meeting and be quiet in the corner. But you need to start from that their perspective, and then work with them on when they interrupt you. Because the TV show is over, you can get frustrated or mad, you just need to tell her well. TV off is not enough for me to form it’s not that are for an important because you know how to start it again. So just go back and start again, and don’t interrupt you and they start getting that muscle train of when it’s okay to interrupt. And when it’s not okay to interrupt.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 16:53
It sounds to me like you’re training the children to have resilience, you know, to build up a sense of, of tolerance to a wide variety of things and know how to troubleshoot situations. And and you know, sort of building prioritization into their decision making and giving them control. So I think all of those sounds really great.
Augusto Pinaud 17:14
Oh, that sounds a lot more fancy than what I was thinking. But I like it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:19
I do, I do have an interest in child developmental psychology. So it’s always a fun thing to think about how those their little minds are developing at particular stages and how they deal with some of these challenges. art as the other resident parent,
on the team, do you have any have any thoughts.
Art Gelwicks 17:40
I worked from home for about four years. And one of the first things that anyone who works from home will tell you is it’s important to set boundaries. So for example, when the office door is closed, you don’t interrupt, if it is closed, there’s a very good reason for it, I was doing a lot of calls and presentations on line. So interruptions were very much disruptive. So set being able to set those boundaries, the younger the children are, the harder those boundaries are to set. But as they start to grow a little bit older, they start to develop that understanding. But there is a balance that you have to give when so when a kid comes in and interrupts and you tell them look, you need to wait, when you go to resolve whatever that interruption was, you have to give them the full attention, you know, your focus of attention to resolve that interruption, they have to start to learn that, because they were willing to accept the delay, they’re going to get the benefit of your complete focus. And we talked about this with kids. But this also works with co workers to I mean, if somebody if you have to push somebody off, when you go to help them out over that issue, you give them 100% of that focus, they start to understand that there is is a cost benefit relationship there between the delay and getting your attention. The other thing with kids, and this is kind of a weird thing is give them the opportunity to return the favor. If they’re sitting there playing and you need them to do something right then give them on occasion, the option to say I want to finish this, okay, you can finish it. But as soon as you’re done, you need to do this. And reinforcing that behavior, they start to understand then that it’s okay, to set priorities around their activities, they just have to follow up afterwards, they can’t just push it off. Again, with parents, we do have the option that we don’t have with with teammates and others to put them in timeout as much as we would like to at work. But it works to that advantage of starting to develop that base level of behavior within the kids and understand that there is a given take relationship, it’s not always you drop everything you’re doing right away when I say it, but if you need something, I’m going to push you off until I’m ready. That’s a little bit harder to get them to accommodate.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 20:14
Absolutely. That’s great advice. So let’s make our way along to some of the things that you were talking about are at the top of the show regarding email, chat message, mobile notifications, and phone calls. These are email being asynchronous communication, but the rest of them being synchronous communication methods, where someone is immediately expecting some kind of feedback. And then mobile notifications, which are just a digital type of interruption. Although some of those may be from asynchronous communication, right? You might get an email, and that email is going to pop up a notification on your phone or on your desktop computer. And if you get a text message or a chat message from Facebook, messenger or WhatsApp or whatnot, it’s going to then pop up a notification on your phone potentially on your desktop as well. How do you deal with the phone calls? And the emails and the chat messages? and so on and so forth? How do you structure that so that you’re not? One if you if you just plan to deal with the interruption? How do you deal with that before the interruption happens? How do you deal with it when it happens? And what do you deal with it? What do you do to get back to being productive after it happens first,
Augusto Pinaud 21:25
on that is you need to understand what kind of notifications and interruptions you are going to allow on the world. That’s the first problem people find, okay, people get their devices doesn’t matter what they are, and then enable every notification under the sun. And then they complain, well, this thing vibrates all day, well, yes, but you allow every notification to come on. So. So that’s the first step in order to solve any possible problem with this is to understand that you are the one causing the problem. You are the one enabling every notification, every email every everything. Because until you get to that point, anything else I think is relevant to after you understand what kind of interruptions you are going to allow, then you can go into understanding how to guide you can get in or out of them. So for example, my default ringtone on my cell phone for years is no sound. Okay? no vibration, no sound, no nothing. What that means is I will only know that you are calling, okay, because I’m looking at the screen. Unless you are part of a group of people who I have switch or make a special ringtone, in this case, one that make noise on vibrate because I only allow certain number of people to have the quote unquote, right to interrupt whatever I’m doing, the rest of the people will get mostly directly directly to voicemail. And that is fine for me. Okay, same thing as text messages, text messages, don’t make noise on my phone. Okay, they vibrate, that’s all that they do. So it’s, it’s a small nudge. If I’m completely distracted, I will feel it. If I am on the phone, it’s not enough to break me out of this own. Why that’s on purpose, I can come back if it’s urgent, figured it out a different way to communicate with me, okay, I don’t even check emails on the phone. And Ray and I had an incident where he needed me to check something. So I need you to send you this. Well, you need to wait until I get back. I don’t have email on the phone. And it was something that was important. So I went and configure email on the phone. So I could receive that email. So I could check that documents, I can send him back and then delete email from the phone. Okay, why I don’t check email on the phone because he’s a distraction that I don’t need. So after you one, understand that you’re not a victim from those notifications and interruptions and to understand how you can manage them better come to third point that is OK, now that you were interrupted what you are going to do. Okay? Because when you now do like ideal was that really a small number of interruptions is easy. Okay, it’s easy to get back. Okay, yes, my phone has all the apps has little red buttons, okay, telling me that there is some cow or something, the badge is telling me that I need to look at that, that’s fine. But then that’s now on my terms, that any of these batches of distract me, or tried to pull me out from the activity on hand, then if is one that actually will pull me out of the activity on hand, then the first thing for me is leave a crumble, okay, where I am, okay, oh, I am doing this and this trip, write it down, you know, market, put circles around doesn’t matter, then jump to the next activity. And as hard was saying try to go to that activity with the
higher level of attention that you can so that way you can get other activity out of the way possible and come back to the activity you were. Okay. The other thing is make sure that you write that thing on one place. Okay, because one of the things I see sometimes is people had posted on little pieces of notes, and then the notebook and then they add, they may start writing down Oh, I was doing this but then write it on one place or write it on another and write on a different place. Or send themself a note, no, no, figure it out. Doesn’t matter where it is. But again, you need to go back to consistency. Because the faster you get to that consistency, the fastest the brain can go back to where it was. For example, I’ve been doing weekly review with the Ninth Symphony avatar, one was von Karajan Philharmonic, Oberlin, okay, for at least 810 years, okay. I don’t even need to do the weekly review. And I don’t need to pull the list, I don’t need to pull anything, I can be driving on the highway. And I put that Symphony on my brain out, automatically change, okay, to wiki review mode, okay, I’ll automatically change to high thinking level. Okay, that’s what you’re trying to do when you leave those clues in the same way in the same place every time. Because now your brain can go look at that and say, Oh, this is where I was I’m continue running, where you were. Instead, if you need the brain to figure it out every time that require a ridiculous amount of time that most people don’t have.
Art Gelwicks 26:55
For me, it’s actually fairly simple, because I use the one thing that pretty much everybody hates.
If you look at that list, I rattled off earlier shoulder tortures, notifications, instant messages, phone calls, those are all as you mentioned, synchronous communications, they’re immediately expecting a response. I will most commonly say, well do me a favor, just send me an email with that. So I can follow up on it. It does two things. One, it forces things to go into my email, which I use as a primary intake system, because it is completely under my control. And secondarily, it forces people to take that extra step and think about what they’re sending me they can’t just crack something off real quick or or mentioned it in the hallway, they have to actually make the conscious effort to go through and send me an email committing to what they’re asking from. So with that being said, it makes it much easier for me to manage those incoming requests. But it also makes it easy for me to manage my responses as well set up true prioritization and follow ups.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:03
Yeah, totally agree. I love the Can you can you just document that an email, I just want to make sure that I can I get what you want me to do? Precisely, I’d like to get people to commit to what they’re asking for. And that means also that when I potentially reject the request, it’s also in writing.
I like I like people to know what I’m going to do this thing’s
Francis Wade 28:28
this all boils down to managing your, your possible channels of interruption.
Flow proactively and thinking through, what do I do when this kind of interruption happens. And that kind of interruption happens. I think it all comes from the point of view that our attention nowadays is extremely valuable, increasingly rare. It’s this commodity, commodity, but it’s this, it’s this item was part of our lives as aspect of our lives that needs to be carefully rated. And anything that can possibly stop it or interfere with it needs to be handled on its own terms. So a channel of interruption might be a spouse, phone call, a notification on a smartphone, but they all need to sort of be handled in the same way some sort of with a common frame of mind, which is that this is a possible interrupt, to my best work. And I think that the price of wanting to do great work nobody is is sort of eternal vigilance, because someone’s going to come up with something by next year, that’s going to be a new way of interrupting us from doing our best work. And once again, we’ve got to deal with it on its own terms, we, if we change offices, if we take a new job, if we all these, all these things are all they all introduced possible new ways of entering acting also means to deal with them in this subtle, systematic way, if we if we’re serious about doing our best work,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 30:06
couldn’t agree more couldn’t agree more. Okay, on to technology issues, which is a thorny interruption, because we don’t have control over those in sometimes the most fundamental way, which is that if the software doesn’t work, or if the, if you run out of ink, you just can’t do what you need to do. And so you need to deal with that thing in order to continue on the current project or task that you’re working on. The way in which I deal with this, generally actually want to double back so on on the topic of how to deal with people interruptions and phone calls. And otherwise, I like to make sure that there is a focus list for the day now as the GTD or I have a my next actions list and there are my active actions for the upcoming week. As many who have listened for a while know this, I only track from week to week in my weekly room for my weekly review the weekly review. And so those selected tasks for the day, from the week’s worth of tasks. Taking into account my appointments for the day on my calendar, I now have a list of the actions I’ve prioritized based on resources available time and energy, right. So I already know what I plan to focus on for the day. And as I’m interrupted over the past, probably 18 to 20 years, I have been tracking interruptions. So I know the types of interruptions that happen, because I track my my time both my billable and non billable time. And I don’t expect everybody to do this forever. But it is worth doing for at least two, maybe three weeks of consistently tracking your time. And identifying the interruptions that happen over that time. And what you then start to get is a pretty clear picture of the things that you can do to preempt those interruptions. So say you don’t get a lot of interruptions on your mobile phone, because you’ve turned off all of your notifications, as a Cousteau had offered. But you get a lot of people who walk up to you and want to have a little bit of water cooler conversation. Well, you can prepare mental scripts so that you can appropriately engage those people. You know, you don’t want to be mean to your co workers, you don’t want to be denigrating, but you do want to be able to say to them, you know, guys, I’m really working hard on this particular task right now or project and I need to give it my full focus. Can we do this during lunch? Or can we do this in 30 minutes when I’m done with it. And now you’ve created for yourself an opportunity to reward yourself by completing this project, and then having a little bit of social time with your co workers, which is important. And also now not being interrupted from the high focus that you need to be able to finish the thing in front of you. So I really, I just just really believe that you should have some level of tracking so that you understand what’s actually happening because your memory is fallible. If you if I asked you right now, what are your biggest interruptions? Well, if you start to track the data itself, in a raw fashion objective fashion, I bet you that they’re different than the ones that you think. And that’s just because we all presume things. And when the data starts to show itself, you start to see a different picture. So tracking is really important. The other is creating workflows, or checklists to be prepared well, for interruptions. So this is a case where there are certain ones that don’t require a checklist, but they do require you to be prepared for things, for example, the fire alarm goes off, and you pull your backup thumb drive out of your computer, if you have such a thing, and you walk directly out of the building, right? Safety first. But for other things, it could be a little bit more involved where the interruption is such that it is emergent or non emergent. And you need to follow a particular course of actions to get yourself both to deal with the emergency or the non emergency interruption fully. As we’ve been talking about, you’ve heard us talking about the idea of focusing fully on the issue at hand so that it can be resolved properly, and then getting back to action. And then once you’ve dealt dealt with the interruption, then being able to re engage yourself in what you’re working on. So having the right sort of techniques involved. So that you know how to get yourself back there that may be music is a good still uses. It may be a favorite beverage, it may be any number of of sensory or other kinds of triggers in your environment that gets you refocused on that on that task. So for technology issues, I’ve always been of the mindset that you should have backup equipment, so or supplies, right. So the idea here is that when I am writing, I always keep a couple of those, I use fountain pens, and I always have extra cartridges hanging around. And that way I keep them in a little case, a little pill bottle case that I I travel with because it’s tight enough to keep it sealed, so it doesn’t break in my luggage or my my carry on bags when I’m when I’m flying, you know, running around. And it’s really helpful because you never know when the ink is going to run out or one of those cartridges will dry up for some reason you know you you’re in a humid environment. And then you go to another environment and all of a sudden, the cartridges somehow dried up for some reason. And so having the spare cartridges allows you to be able to continue writing and not being impeded from what you’re working on. Sometimes there’s just a technology issue. What I tried to do with regards to technology is that if a piece of software stops working, I always determine is this worth my time to deal with now? Or should I capture it as something that needs to be fixed later? And can I get the job done with another piece of tool. So say that Microsoft Word stopped operating on my travel laptop. And that happens on occasion. And I was writing something, it’s just not working? Well, you know what, I don’t need to deal with Microsoft Word right now, I can just upload the document to Google Docs, I can throw it into Google Docs, it will it will allow me to edit the document in its native Word format. And I will go to town, finished my document. And then I will deal with Microsoft Word later. By capturing that into my inbox clarifying and organizing that for a time and place that’s appropriate to dealing with those technology issues. And keep moving on with my day.
Augusto Pinaud 36:34
I like that and I agree with you, you need to understand what is worth to fixed and what is not worth to fixed right now at that moment. Okay, because one of the things we tend to do as humans is we built up okay, Microsoft Word failed and then you start building up and building up and building up and even if you fix it, now you’re so build up that you can write what you were going to or finish the job you are going to finish because now you’re mad. It’s not worth it. So those changes work backup work. The other thing is that I see a lot is go with the same I mean nation to work on i i think it was Romo who used to said that you go with your weapons need to be compatible with your enemies weapons, or at least you need to know how to use them. Okay, and the reason is Judo know when things are going to fail, but you need to have that plan. So I see people who has two three computers backup plan is in place, except one is Windows seven. One is Windows 10. What is Windows eight, oldest software is different. And that’s where that plan failed. One of the things I particularly enjoy about iOS is the fact that I can grab my phone, or any of my iPads and I have exactly the same interface everywhere. That’s really powerful. You need to keep that into consideration to how you are going to access to those backup things and try to keep it not only redundant, but similar as much as possible. So that way, when you get into that situation, and you need to switch, your brain doesn’t need to deal with the frustration that you need to switch plus a frustration that it looks different than what it looks before plus the frustration of the tool that you need from the software, because from version three to version five, they decide to move it from Romania to another menu, that consistency, what allows your brain to do is to done notice that transition or to be more effective on the transition. And that’s something that a lot of people fail when they even even those who are already one step ahead. Having those backup plans in place, I’ll make the same argument for on the right side Android and Chrome OS. If you’re looking for a redundancy level system, and looking at Chromebooks and using Chrome OS, and using cloud based services, that helps you eliminate a lot of these potential issues. There are very few single points of failure when you set up a process or a structure similar to what a Cousteau mentioned.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:23
Yeah, that’s it’s nothing like going from Chrome browser to Chromebook and and then to the Android OS, and just being able to use the same applications and working around those issues. It’s it’s pretty, pretty easy. It is.
Augusto Pinaud 39:35
So now as we as we all as a group discussed when we were looking at the difference between the iOS and the Chromebook, that that’s completely precise. That’s exactly what has make both platforms now, really, really powerful to the point that you just need to pick one doesn’t matter which one, and you are going to get that that consistency of work, that consistency that is going to allow you to keep productive regardless, what which device do you have in hand, understand that interruptions had inevitable, okay, unless you move to a mountain and disconnect every communication to the world. Okay, you will have interruptions and I guarantee you, you’ll find that solitude place in the middle of the mountain, there will be something that will interrupt you, what you need to do is not hope that there is going to be no interruptions, but figure it out how you can master the getting back to that high productive estate after the interruption happened. So that way you can keep and reduce little by little time that cost you every time you get an interruption, the interruption will happen. Okay, that’s, that’s a fact. But how can you work better? So that way, you can go faster back to that production estate that you wear? What clothes do you need to do? Or what systems do you need to implement on the way so you can jump back to where you were, without breaking everything I needed to start from square one.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 41:13
I think I think one of the really key things to think about as well as we close out this episode is how to manage expectations, both your expectations, as well as the expectations of others as you are dealing with interruptions. As Krista said many times on the podcast, be kind to yourself, and be be aware of the fact that interruptions are going to happen. And when they do frustrations, not going to really help you in this regard. So you might as well be flexible and adaptive to the changing environment. And build these kinds of rubrics, these kinds of mental models for knowing how to deal with the interruptions on the front end being that is being prepared that they’re going to happen, what to do during them, and then how to respond and get yourself back on track afterward. So thank you, gentlemen, for this conversation. If you’re listening from your podcast app, other than the podcast website, we invite you to jump over to productivity cast dot dent there at the bottom of the page for the show, you can feel free to leave a comment or a question, and one of us here on the productivity cast team will be glad to respond. Also on productivity cast.net you’ll find the show notes. Links to anything we’ve discussed are easy to jump to from the links in the show notes. And you can learn how to subscribe to the podcast there on the website. If you have another question about personal productivity, you can go ahead and visit productivity cast.net forward slash contact and you’ll send us a message and we’ll be able to respond to you that way and if you want to ask a question of us will be happy to answer those questions, potentially here on the show. Thanks to Joe Francis and art for joining me here on this cast. If you could please add a rating or review in iTunes or Stitcher as we are appreciate the gratitude and it also helps us grow our personal productivity listening community. So thank you. That brings us to the close of this episode of productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, take care, and here’s your productive life everybody.
Voiceover Artist 43:15
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.