No matter how hard some of us try to plan out each working day, various surprises can often hit that can end up throwing our whole schedule off course. These could be minor interruptions such as phone calls or impromptu meetings, or they could be large interruptions such as power cuts and machinery failure. If you’re sick of being slowed down by interruptions, here are just a few ways in which your business can start planning for them – and in some cases even prevent them.
Schedule all meetings
Having an open-door policy doesn’t always work in today’s fast-paced business world. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, try not to agree to spontaneous meetings with employees and clients who want to talk to you there and then – book a time slot for later in the day, or ask if they can wait later in the week. This allows you to prepare for the meeting and plan out tasks around the meeting so that you’re not interrupted. It could also be worth putting a time limit on meetings so that they don’t trail on for hours (this could be handy when it comes to chatty clients!).
Outsource answering calls
If you’re tired of having to drop tasks in order to answer the phone, you may want to consider outsourcing a company to answer phonecalls for you. Many companies don’t realise that this service exists – there are even specialist answering services out there such as this legal answering service for law firms. This could help to filter out spam calls and general enquiries, ensuring that only the most important information is relayed to you, allowing you to get on with your core tasks. It could also be useful if you’re often driving or doing other tasks that prevent you from answering the phone.
Schedule email answering time
Emails can also serve as an interruption. Rather than answering emails the moment that you receive them, consider scheduling email answering slots throughout the day. This could allow you to keep on top of your emails without interrupting other tasks. As for urgent emails, if they really want to get hold of you they’ll ring you – you shouldn’t feel obliged to reply instantly to every email as some people will abuse this.
Service your machines
Machinery failure can serve as a severe interruption in many cases. Try to prevent breakdowns by carrying out regular servicing on machines to spot early signs of faults. Many industrial manufacturing companies have even started using smart technology to predict faults. By predicting failures before they happen, you can organise repairs or a replacement at a time that’s convenient to you rather than waiting until the machine breaks.
Invest in a backup power source
With many businesses relying heavily on machinery nowadays, it’s worth investing in a backup power source – if a power cut strikes, you won’t be able to continue work without a backup generator and vital tasks could get interrupted. There are all kinds of backup power sources out there including petrol generators and solar generators – you could even use the latter as a supplementary power source for helping you to cut energy bills.
Upgrade your wi-fi
Finally, if you’re often interrupted by temperamental wi-fi, it could be worth upgrading to a stronger and more reliable connection. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a video call cut out or an urgent email fail because the wi-fi has cut out – invest in good quality wi-fi to keep things running smoothly.