Sweet God of Interruptions at Work

There’s a very good reason why I zone out when I have something to finish fast. That reason is usually associated with an annoying voice, but today it was associated with puppy eyes. Seriously, I feel that this is the best strategy to undermine a team’s focus under deadline. Enter #uberPuppies!

Puppy at Hubgets headquarters

So we got to pet this fluffy ball of fur – 7 weeks old Pufarina – and see her chew some keyboard cable. This was 15 minutes, felt like 5, and the impact was that I am still struggling to get back in the zone and finish today’s tasks – half an hour later!

These 15 minutes are worth a moment of study: a while ago, before making Hubgets, we were experiencing a lot of situations in which we got interrupted. Hubgets is a software company, so every interruption counts for strings of code getting a bit broken, a bit blurry, eventually re-done. That translates into delays, then into frustration, and finally into money down the drain.

There are times when someone speaks with me while I am sitting in front of my monitor. If I am absorbed into what I am doing, I will nod politely and pretend I am listening. This is bad both for me and for the person talking to me, and it can be avoided by some common-sense rules that we have applied in the Hubgets status options. Here is how I am applying the rules:

  • When my status in Hubgets is set to Busy, I am not in the chit-chat mood. It probably means I am doing something that can’t bear interruptions of any kind.
  • When my status is set to Available, it means that, while I am doing something, you can ask me stuff on chat, call me, or even show up at my desk to share semi-interesting stuff. I will listen.
  • When my status is set to Hubgets knows better, it means I might be in a Topic, talking with the team about work stuff. I can be interrupted with a very good excuse. Something like the building is on fire! run first, tweet after… 😀

On days like today, my productivity gene thanks the Hubgets gods for creating a focus-cocoon. But it also admits defeat in front of puppy cuteness overload ???

a. A study from the University of California Irvine identified that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.
b. Prior to the puppy visit I was working on a process flow. I think it came out completely different from the initial idea I had.

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