Workplace Hack: Reduce Interruptions With a Point Sheet

With IM and email on the cards, its become a lot easier to pop quick questions to your coworkers throughout the day. While opening up communication is certainly a good thing for businesses and organizations, it also means that we’re having to deal with interruptions more and more frequently.

This week’s workplace hack comes from VC Mark Suster. When Mark worked at Andersen Consulting, the company required employees to batch questions for their bosses, instead of hassling them every time something came up…

“So the solution was that any time you had a question you had to write it down on these pre-printed tablets of paper called “point sheets” and once you had accumulated enough questions you could bring them en masse to your boss.”

Looking back, Mark remembers how, by the time employees had gathered 7 or 8 issues to discuss with their boss, they realized they’d already figured out 3 to 4 of them on their own. When the option to bring questions to the boss immediately was there, employees would take it. But when they were required to wait, they managed to figure most of it out on their own.

To follow this workplace hack, managers should ask employees not to interrupt them until they have gathered a certain amount of questions. Refining the process will take time and effort, and more urgent issues may need to be pushed through quicker, but if you’re struggling with constant interruptions from your team, give the point sheet a go today!

What about you? How do you reduce interruptions in the workplace?


This hack is part of a series of weekly workplace hacks that teaches you about collaboration, productivity and time saving tips. Published every Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Sarah G… via Compfight cc