I know we’re supposed to be accessible as project managers, but, there’s got to be a line drawn somewhere. Resolving issues, working on project schedules, and ramping up on new technologies takes uninterrupted time to get done. What ways have you found to remain accessible AND still get this type of work done?
The best way is to use social networking platforms tailored as per the organization communication requirements . An easy to use , light weight application can solve this to remain updated about ever changing technologies side by side performing project life cycle related activities.
We're using convo for the said matter that helps us interacting with the teams over the web and that also has a desktop version. We post articles , blogs and project related milestones or even assign tasks over that media I am talking about and it is really helpful. Saving Changes...
I turn off alerts, so I don't get pop ups on the screen. That way, when I have time to check (waiting in line for coffee, for example), I can check my social media streams when it suits me. If the team want to get hold of me faster, they can ring. Saving Changes...
I'm interested in that convo tool, it looks to have quite some potential, and I would welcome thoughts on which version is necessary.
As for interruptions, if they tend to be from one workstream of the project, or are around a particular deliverable, I like to have a regular conference call (would meet if on the same site) about that - people can then save all their questions for that time and it keeps others in the project team informed.
A few other techniques
- yes switch pop-ups off
- work offline in outlook (just undock the laprtop)
- for those critical times when you can't be interrupted, get away from your desk & work in a spare meeting room,
-most phone systems have a do not disturb feature which sends calls straight to voicemail
Finally, an acquaintance who liked undisturbed camping breaks had a sign made that guaranteed peace and quiet .. "Come in and ask about our new insurance policies"
Interruptions are a fact of life for a Project Manager and not addressing them as quickly as possible can cause more harm than good. My approach for balance is to arrive at the office early. I can usually get at least two hours of uninterrupted time for involved work and then still be availabe for the crisis of the moment throughout the day.
When you have to stop what you are working on, put it away, and pick up a different task, we call this context switching. The time spent switching between tasks is unproductive time. Productivity rapidly decreases the more times a person switches context during a day. Sometimes, there is no choice and you have to do it. Consider the wasted time however when deciding when to do it and when not. Saving Changes...
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."