It’s funny. I enjoy being able to focus on important tasks and keep myself moving forward on the steps necessary to be effective and efficient.
But, at the same time, I truly do welcome interruption. I like to give my mind time to shift from task to task, and I value the ability see things from a number of different lenses as I work. This often means stopping to take a break, walking over to the office of a colleague and chatting for a few minutes, or simply switching to reading an article for a few minutes.
Interruption itself never seems to be a problem for me. Instead, it appears more about the length of the interruption and how quickly I’m able to return back to the task I started on. I find that if I take too much time away from a given task or idea, I become less effective at completing it as I have to “rewind” my mind to get back to where I left off, and for me, that process can be a challenge.
So, while I want and welcome the free-thinking that interruption brings, I also want to make sure that my interruptions don’t push me too far off course or take too much time. Unfortunately, sometimes interruptions happen at the worst times, making it more difficult to keep working on something that uses all of my brain power, and forcing me to get back to that work at a time that is harder for me to focus.
Like most things I’ve learned about in education, and regarding leading for that matter, there is a requirement to be capable of bouncing around from one thing to the other. While we might wish we were able to focus on one task at one time always, it just may not prove to be an effective way to get the best out of each of us, all the time.