How do you guys deal with interruptions / task-switching while you're deep into something?

Generally I don't mind quick interruptions if someone needs help with a shell command or a library, or some other quick ask.

But I had four full new priority tasks/tickets come my way yesterday, and for each one I had to pop open a separate workspace and juggle a separate conversation.

It's not the end of the world, but whenever I'm forced to juggle multiple tasks, I find I end up frozen and frazzled while I try to recalculate my priorities.

This is partially my fault, since I've sort of situated myself as the devops guy for a few systems, so I get regular tickets as well as systems/data tasks.

Any tips? Preferably I'd still receive the tasks, but just deal with them better.

  • 2
    First off, being annoyed and/or angry by an interruption might mean you have some disorder, including stress.

    The natural thing is to welcome diatractions, take them as breaks, as long as you can still do your shit and people respect your time, which is already hard.

    - keep a todo list with notes so you can go back to work fast.
    - if you can't focus again, try writing down the problem/task at hand again so you get back into the mindset, I do diagrams.
    - if you get interrupted frequently, talk it out, block your calendar, print signs, go to a remote place, etc.
  • 0
    In those situations i would setup a sort of automation to filter and react and what you're presented with is a reduced format of the request.

    So something like a ticket listener that searches for certain keywords then selects the paragraph/phrase with them extracts it and rebuild it as a small message, also to have a kind of set of buttons or hotkeys in which you can add a mention of in how much time you can deal with it, doing that you're removing the need for a work-space change and large interruption and you can finish your train of thought then focus on answering to it.

    One singular thing to be mindful of is that no one notices the system or the filtering rules, they could end up exploiting them, that is if there are those kinds of people present.
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