When it comes to urgent requests, we are pretty much all in the same boat. There is always someone who needs something urgently. And when we ask for the date when this is needed, the answer is, “I need this to be done yesterday!” I remember seeing in a company’s show room the sign saying “We will work our magic to complete your request within 24 hours. Wonders may take us a little longer.”
Even the best, fastest, most efficient employee in a company needs time to focus on the task and to complete it. Whether it’s 24 hours or 30 minutes, there is a time factor involved to get something done. If the employee is allowed to utilize that time to focus 100% on the task, the job could get done in time. But all too often, the person requesting the task, calls while the employee is still in the middle of completing the task, asking, “Are you done yet? I really need this report”. Very likely, the employee will respond, “I’m working on it and should have the report ready in 15 minutes.” And after ten minutes, there’s the next follow-up call. “How are you doing with the report?”
There’s proven evidence and research that a person loses 40% of productivity because of interruptions. It takes time to get back into the task and to continue where they left off before being interrupted. To stay with our example of a needed report, the employee could have had the report ready in 30 minutes, but it turned out to be 45 minutes because of all these interruptions and follow-up calls. You get my point.
For all those who are asking today for something they need done yesterday, please provide a realistic completion time, and allow your employee to stay on the task and complete it in a timely manner without interruptions. Pushing and calling to get a status is interruptive and slows things down and achieves just the opposite of what we so urgently need. And true – wonders may even take a little longer to be processed! So, let’s give someone the chance to work their magic.