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During my work there are a lot of small pauses, mostly due to outdated/clunky tools and PCs.
These pauses range from 10s to 1 min long, and it's really hard to keep focused on my work while being interrupted 5/6 times in a row.

I already brought this up with management and tried to automate all longer processes, but I'm now at a point where the only solution is buying better tools or hardware.
For example, I just had to copy a file from a network folder, and since we don't have gigabit ethernet it took about 90 seconds.

Management already denied buying other tools, as we are a medium-big company, and updating tools would require a major effort.

My productivity is high enough and this is not a huge problem, however I feel I could be a lot more productive in a proper environment.

How can I deal with a large amount of medium-small interruptions?

At the moment I'm already switching to other small tasks, but I take a lot of time to refocus again on what I was doing, and this is less than ideal.

marked as duplicate by gnat, user5621, Rory Alsop, JasonJ, Masked Man Apr 3 '17 at 14:38

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @gnat that's not the question, though. "How can I deal with a large amount of medium-small interruptions?" is, although I suspect there's a duplicate for that out there too. – user5621 Apr 3 '17 at 10:08
  • @stanri I already searched for similar questions, but they all dealt with being interrupted by colleagues/other sources. Anyway as you said, my question is not about convincing management to buy new tools, but about better coping with the ones already in place. – BgrWorker Apr 3 '17 at 10:18
  • Make a list: Small interruption(~10s), Medium interruption (10-30s), long interruption (30s-60s), very long interruption (>60s). Every time you are interrupted, update your list. When you have ample evidence, go to management. make it clear that a 10s interruptionccosts 20s 8at least) of working time because you need to re-focus. if you can show them that you waste 20mins per hour waiting, thats 30%. If new hardware/software cuts that down to 5 minutes, its only 8%. Its not only happening to you, but to others as well. That way you have quantitative arguments for new software. – Polygnome Apr 3 '17 at 11:37
  • I edited the question to be more clear, I don't feel it's duplicate to any of the questions linked, as one deals with convincing management to buy new tools, and the other has answers mostly focusing on the "compiling" factor – BgrWorker Apr 3 '17 at 11:40
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    Having to wait is not an interruption. It's idle time. You doing other small tasks in that time is an interruption. Just make sure you get your terms clear. – nvoigt Apr 3 '17 at 13:11