Are Interruptions Costing You?

Often, when delivering solutions around managing low priority interruptions, interruptions that could wait rather than be answered immediately, the participants will offer the following…

• I don’t mind being interrupted
• I’d rather be interrupted
• Interruptions are no problem to me
• If I don’t answer calls or emails straight away I’ll lose the opportunity/clients

What they are not saying is… I want to be free to interrupt others as and when I like to. I’m here to tell you allowing ALL interruptions to interrupt you all day long costs you in time and money. I figure, you know this. But let me show you how much it is costing you…

Let’s say you work in an office of 5 people who earn on average $40 000 a year and who work 40 hours a week.
40 hours a week = $19.23 per hour = .32c per minute

There’s a statistic that says the average person is interrupted
7 times an hour and that each interruption lasts between 2 to 5 minutes.

Let’s be really conservative and say these people are interrupted once an hour and that this interruption lasts 5 minutes.
.32c per minute x 5 minutes x 8 (because we generally paid for an 8 hour day) = $12.80
x 5 people = $64.00
x 5 days a week = $320 a week
x 48 weeks a year (because most companies in Australia give their people 4 weeks off a year) = Ready for it?…. You are going to feel sick…

$15 360 per annum!

What could you do with $15 360! Employ another person Part Time?
Go on a holiday?
Pay down your mortgage?
Invest in an amazing (or several amazing) training courses/workshops?

Now $15 360 is the basic cost… I haven’t factored in:
The 9600 minutes in time… Which translates to 20 days!
The opportunities and tasks you are not getting to when you continue to allow your time to be cannibalized!
All the extra hours that are done after hours and on weekends to try to get core business done;
All the indirect costs incurred to run a business, longer hours;
All the direct and indirect costs incurred when projects are not undertaken in the time they are expected to take;
The unexpected leave and staff attrition that happens because people are working longer hours unnecessarily, are frustrated by their results, and don’t feel they’re getting anywhere fast…
Now I hate to make the obvious, obvious BUT the above figure can only increase IF you have more people and your average income is higher… and you allow more than 1 interruption per hour!
UGLY! – I know!
And if that’s not enough… I have only talked about 1 common time stealing habit in this article!
BUT you say these interruptions need to be dealt with… and my answer to this is YES and NO.
There’s a certain law… let’s call it “Speedy’s law for managing low priority interruptions and empowering your staff” that says if you don’t answer all the interruptions the instant a person wants to interrupt you, some of these interruptions will get resolved all by themselves.
There’s another law… Let’s call this one “Speedy’s law of getting things done faster and with more accuracy” … And it goes like this… when you do the same type of work in one batch, quality of your work improves, you make better decisions, you work faster and with more accuracy.
So, if you are brave enough, do a calculation for your business and ask yourself is this price worth continuing to pay?
Or better yet… “If I was saving this time and money… working more efficiently, what could I do?”
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It’s your time. Use it wisely and START Now!
Always thanking you for being here, reading and sharing!
Angie “Speedy” Spiteri
Time Equals Money

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