An Insight a Day

When You Know You’ll Be Interrupted

Whenever I know I’ll be interrupted, I stop doing anything meaningful. It’s a rather strange habit of mine, and I think it’s either because I don’t like to be interrupted whenever I’m doing anything important, or because my brain is trying to find an excuse to procrastinate.

Here’s a common example at work, suppose I want to do a test on one of the machines but it’s “not ready,” either because someone is still troubleshooting another issue in the system or some key personnel is busy with something else. So I wait…

But the thing is, I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait. No one does. Sometimes, it’s only a few minutes. Sometimes, it can be a few hours. And occasionally, it can be a few days.

In the case where it seems like it could be a few days, I might just go home and wait for them to call me. And whenever that happens, I can’t seem to get myself to do anything other than mindlessly consuming stuff off the internet, like watching random YouTube videos or reading random news articles.

It’s only when I have the certainty that I can get myself to do the more important stuff. For example, I’m told to come in at 6pm and it’s currently 2pm, that’s when I get my act together and be productive. Otherwise, the fear and annoyance of getting interrupted puts me off from doing anything important, as more often than not, the interruption is abrupt and I’ll have to drop everything just to go to work.

Couldn’t I just say no whenever I’m interrupted or put my phone to airplane mode? Technically, I could. But I’m probably not going to do that because of the nature of my job. So the other option is to play with my psychology and get comfortable with being interrupted. It doesn’t happen that often anyway, right?