Distractions are Dangerous: Interruptions kill Productivity

Distractions are Dangerous. Interruptions kill your leadership productivity

Written by Ian Richardson

November 27, 2023

Business Distractions are Dangerous.

Interruptions kill leadership productivity

By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow Group

Business Distractions are Dangerous

My wife loves ideas and shiny things. I’m being both literal and metaphorical here. Carrie LOVES shiny stuff – sequins are her super power. Wardrobe choices aside, new ideas are one of her favorite places to play.

You bring her a problem and she’s going to have 15 ways to tackle it. You will also go down 3 new rabbit holes that lead to Narnia while she’s at it. I love my wife’s brain: She’s creative, kind, passionate, and motivational. Her drive is inspiring to me and I try to harness it as often as I can.

Yet, she gets distracted; She bops from one item to the next, often in the same conversation. In life, this is charming and causes a lot of laughter in our house.

In business, distractions are dangerous.

Not dangerous like poison or walking into a lion’s den, more dangerous like radiation. Distractions kill businesses, but not right away. Your business won’t perish like it had a heart attack; it’ll be slow and insidious, like cancer.

While you or your team focuses on distractions, items that are important start to have issues.

Those issues metastasize across the organization. Before you know it, you’re doing “surgery” left and right. On your clients, team, and processes trying to stop the disease.

Like in life, sometimes it works, and sometimes you die.

Interruptions kill your leadership productivity

One of my least favorite distraction is the interruption. The “mother may I” type questions that come from a team that is afraid to make mistakes. They don’t know how to determine what the “right” thing to do is. Sometimes, it is both. Some fast statistics:

The average leader or manager      in an organization gets interrupted by their team 3 to 5 times a day.

Those interruptions average to 5 to 10 minutes to “solve.”

Solve means identifying the problem, discussion, and solution craft.

The leader then has 5 to 10 minutes of production reduction “finding their place” in their day again.

For those of you who like math, that’s 2.5 to 8 hours a week of “lost time”. It depends on your organization and the types of interruptions you’re dealing with.

You’re losing 1/4 to a full day per leader. Every single week. To interruptions.

One universal truth I’ve found:

The more I learn about business, the more I hate math.

Leadership Productivity requires empowered teams

Your team doesn’t want to be an interruption. Nobody likes messing up at their job. Frameworks around how to make “good” decisions can help. Frameworks tied to your corporate strategy are rocket fuel.

I’d recommend a 5 step framework for decision making:

  1. Alignment with Company Mission
  2. Furtherment of Company Vision
  3. Honors Company Core Values
  4. Uses Company Core Strategies
  5. Helps show value to Company’s Primary Customer

Leadership productivity and empowered teams don’t have to be out of reach. Fox & Crow can help.

Our toolset around Strategic Decision Making can help you empower your teams. Those teams can make decisions in alignment with your company’s strategic plan.

Fill out the form to receive your copy of the worksheet.

If you want more help, I’m here. My calendar is available, lets get the conversation started.

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