My boss keeps interrupting me and I can't get things done

by Sally

Hi there,

My boss keeps interrupting me with things that are not as important.

I work in an accounts department and at this time of year we are pretty busy. The problem is that I have a clear set of priorities about what I need to do in the day, but my boss keeps interrupting me with things that are not as important.

I am not sure what to do, as he is my boss, but I am having trouble dealing with his demands and also those of the work that I have to do.

Kell's answer

Hi Sally,

This is a difficult situation and a common one in the work environment. Your boss is likely to want you to work on your top priorities so that you get the high value activities done.

But he may also have his own priorities which is important for him.

There are a number of options available for you to reduce the interruptions of your boss.

First you could batch your communication with him. This is what I used to do when I had my five direct reports working for me.

Rather than having my direct reports interrupting me every time something came up I would have them write down the issue/problem/question and then ensure that I have a 5 minute catch up with them throughout the day.

In this time they would go through their issues/questions and my time would be devoted to answering this.

I have found that this works well for direct reports and also for managers.

The issue with using this method with managers is that you need to explain to them the reason why in more detail and finesse.

Since you are clear on what your objectives and priorities are you need to gently (politely and with as much finesse as possible) let your boss know what is happening.

I have always found that keeping a time management log or download time keeping software a good purpose for this.


Well it allows you to objectively track your time on the different tasks.

Once you have done this for a week or two then you can organize a meeting with your boss and outline how you are spending your time.

Since he is your boss it is important to ask him if this is the way that he wants you to spend your time.

Point out gently that there is a trade-off in that you can't get your priorities completed.

Tread gently here Sally.

All the best,


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