“Will I answer that?” I thought.
It had been an extremely busy day. Our schedule was packed full. On arriving home around 3.30pm yesterday, I said to Monic that I was going for a walk to get some fresh air, stretch my legs and generally chill for half an hour. I asked if she wanted to come, but she needed to attend to some other things.
So, off I strode, along to the canal side to enjoy a pleasant stroll and clear my thoughts.
Pausing along the way to enjoy the nature and the windmill, I pulled out my phone to take a picture.
And there it was, the phone was silently ringing, some young missionaries were trying to get a hold of me. And then came the thought above!
What is it about a ringing phone that compels us to answer it?
I was so enjoying my little walk!
Interruptions! How do you deal with them?
So, I chose to answer the call.
“Do you have a minute?” asked the young missionary, “I just have one quick question. I can call you back if it is not a good time?”
Smiling, “on you go” I said.
We spoke for 10 minutes and resolved the immediate matter at hand. We talked, shared, asked questions, problem solved and above all I listened.
How many times a day do you hear those fateful words?
Frequently, one-minute turns into 10, one question becomes several, and you can end up losing big chunks of your day. Balancing the need to be accessible and productive is a challenge that we all face at times.
All that said, I enjoyed our conversation. We resolved a few things together and followed up later with an email to address the main concern.
Interruptions happen, so it’s how you deal with them that matters. Over the years I have learned to expect them!
Each of us oftentimes face many random factors in our day. They will control you unless you control them. It’s your choice. And yesterday I chose to take the call, and I am glad I did!
My advice, if you do need to interrupt someone, give them the option of turning you down without appearing rude. For instance, instead of “I just have one quick question,” ask “Is now a good time to talk?”