No Interruptions Day is observed on December 27 every year. We all know that the holidays can leave us overwhelmed and stressed, with all the socializing and traveling. Not to mention, we still face the uncertainty of a global pandemic. That’s why No Interruptions Day exists — to encourage people to take time for themselves and get organized for the new year.
On this day, you can disconnect from the world and dedicate time to whatever tasks are at hand. The tasks could be as simple as catching up on lost sleep or taking time to strengthen relationships with family and friends.
Everyone’s to-do list is different and attempts to achieve various things. The very nature of our lives dictates what we consider an organized and cleared workspace and what we prioritize in our personal lives. Your career may be facing major changes while trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance may be challenging. A day without interruption allows us to focus on the big and the small things.
Alternatively, some people use this day to focus on those end-of-year tasks that always seem to slip through the cracks, like answering unopened emails, organizing files, and updating calendars and content planners. Oftentimes, these things get pushed off until the last minute.
I worked in corporate America for over 10 years, and I can relate to the interruptions that take place all day long. I played the cubicle game, and it’s so easy for coworkers to just walk right up uninvited. I heard others’ phone conversations and visitors, and let’s not forget the ones that came into the office when they were sick. A steady stream of coughs and nose-blowing can make anyone put the earbuds in.
Having a private office was a little better. When my door was closed, it was implied that I didn’t want to be disturbed. But rest assured there were those who didn’t make that assumption. Even now that I work from home, there is another set of interruptions that creep in daily.
Our minds have to be focused in order to accomplish something. Truth is, we are human beings and get easily distracted. It’s a constant battle between priorities and distractions. Staying away from interruptions is a challenge in our culture.
Facts about No Interruptions Day:
- According to a study conducted by University of California Irvine, on average people get interrupted every 11 minutes while working on a project.
- The distracted person needs at least 25 minutes to get back to what they were focusing on before getting distracted.
- Employees in cubicles had a 29 percent increased rate at being interrupted than the ones having private offices.
These facts make it seem impossible for anyone to focus on anything without being interrupted. There is nothing more frustrating than being continuously interrupted by your phone or by people when you are involved in your work.
No Interruptions Day is needed for the fast-paced world we live in. Our productivity is being affected like never before. For all of us wanting to get things right for the new year and for those who want to finish that project or learn a new skill, No Interruptions Day is what we need to get balanced and on the right track.
How can you observe No Interruptions Day?
Mute your email and text notifications
You can celebrate No Interruptions Day by muting your phone and computer notifications. It is so tempting when you hear that “ding” to see what’s going on. However, you will be surprised by how much replying to these messages distracts and eats up your time. Instead, set aside time at the end of the day to reply.
Turn off/silence your phone
Quieting your phone is probably the most efficient way to have no interruptions. Set a time when you want to use your phone during your working hours or family time to avoid interruptions for the important things.
Don’t log in to social media
Social media is a time-stealer! You tell yourself that you’re just going to “see what’s going on,” and before you know it, you’ve spent two hours. It can become an avalanche of interruptions and distractions. There will be plenty of notifications, games, etc., that can easily distract you and rob you of time without you even realizing it. Here again, you can set aside time for social media so that you’re not wasting hours.
Spend quality time with family and friends
Celebrate uninterrupted time with family and friends. There are so many things to do, especially this time of year. Have fun with this, and get everyone involved. Get a basket for everyone’s cell phone and place it on the shelf. No phones! Schedule a movie, a game, or even just a family dinner where everyone actually engages with one another. When no one is distracted by their phone, you’ll probably find out some new things about each other.
Once you have accomplished your tasks for the day without any interruptions, share your experience on social media using #NoInterruptionsDay and incorporate these things into your daily life.
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Archuleta is an author, poet, blogger, and host of the FearlessINK podcast. Archuleta's work centers Black women, mental health and wellness, and inspiring people to live their fullest potential.