My business partner John is lovely. I feel privileged to closely work with him.

John is an extrovert, and now that he predominantly works from home, needs to pick up the phone and talk to people. I am often the person he picks up the phone to… which means I get interrupted… which is normally very welcome. But, this got me thinking, and has prompted me to write this blog post.

Interruptions often hinder your ability to be truly efficient. Studies have suggested that the average employee is interrupted every 9 minutes. Now, that I work at home, I have vastly reduced the amount of interruptions I receive when working.

Here are my top tips for minimising your interruptions:

1. Turn off notifications

Turn off your new message notifications, e.g. new e-mail, tweetdeck, new text message

2. Turn off phones

If you are brave enough, turn off your phones. Whenever I am in a coaching session I switch off my mobile. If you are worried about missing a call with a potential new client, why not use a business answering service. I personally use Emma Fryer who runs http://www.answer-it.co.uk. I’ve not missed an important call since hiring Emma and her team.

3. If it’s urgent deal with it straight away

Don’t leave urgent stuff lingering, deal with it and then go back to what you were doing.

4. Be assertive

If the interruption is unnecessary, stop it or avoid it. Turn off the unwanted mobile call. Try standing up when an unwanted person comes over to talk with you. I can guarantee that your interruption will be short and sweet.

5. Postpone

If the interruption is unwanted, then politely reschedule the interruption – at a time which is convenient to you

6. Move away

Working away from your desk is a great way to minimise interruptions. If you need some peace and quiet to get your head down, why not book a meeting room for a few hours? If, you work from home, why not try working from your local library? Most libraries require you to turn off your mobile phone…