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The interruptive nature of Operations:
A world of squirrels and shiny objects

Avleen Vig, Etsy
Carolyn Rowland, Independe...
Avleen:
Staff operations
engineer

Carolyn:
IT manager
That reminds me...
What is an
interruption?
http://funny-pictures-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MEME-Leisure-Interruption.jpg
Active interruptions from people

http://celebug.com/celebrity-gossip/page/118/
Passive
interruptions from
people

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonahowie/8583949219/
2013: Michigan State University
Interruptions from systems

http://newsaint.deviantart.com/art/shall-we-play-a-game-HDTV-168941674
Interrupting yourself
!
!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tilaneseven/407167294/

Switching tasks constantly
Stop being
your...
Are all
interruptions
bad?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/doctorow/8456338189/
Simple Tasks vs Complex Tasks

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hugo90/8233834956/
Commitment

Saving the world

20% complete
Commitment

Saving the world

80% complete
The impact of burnout

Don’t let this be you.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthur-caranta/2926332140
Fallacies

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/4115860027/
Fallacies:
We need to know everything

http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/steampunk-information-overlo...
Fallacies:
Calendars help schedule
your time

Where does the work
happen?
Fallacies:
The interruption is
the most important task

http://www.expertcomics.com/enr//wp-content/uploads/2013/03/1slipp...
Fallacies:
Multitasking and productivity

http://www.flickr.com/photos/indyplanets/3926147797/
http://www.onlinecollege.org/Multitasking/
Fallacies:
Switching tasks is good

http://xkcd.com/303/
How do we deal with
things right now?
(answer: badly)
You
work
too
much
http://buzz.socialmarketingforprinters.com/blogs/images/109195046.jpg
“Avleen needs to improve his
work/life balance.
He needs to focus a bit more on
his own health and family,
and communicate...
Tool disorganization
● Organization systems (e.g. Getting Things Done)
● Calendars
● Notebooks
● Post-it notes
● Emails to...
Tool disorganization
OVERLOAD
●

Self-help systems (e.g. GTD)

●

Calendars
Notebooks
Post-it notes
Emails to ourselves
To...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/7645555148/
Interruption Science

https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/2538256128/hAFB28B2E/
Mentally
switch every

3 minutes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/3296379139/
(or maybe 25 minutes)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14829735@N00/6928288961
External interruptions

lead to self-interruption

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdsmith1021/5755513005/
Why you can’t focus

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicamullen/5029081381/
So what can we do?
Sharpen pencils!
Simplify
Resist
destructive
urges
Story time!
WIKIPEDIA

HOLE!
xkcd #862

http://xkcd.com/862/

http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/02/18/distraction-affliction-correction-extensio/
Prioritize

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisflorence/7542642880/
Managers vs Makers

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j_benson/7023561195/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkeefe/3123775954/
Manage your tools.
Don’t let them manage you.

Take control
of tools

http://www.eduleadership.org/wp-content/toolbelt.jpg
Take responsibility
This is about discipline.
http://memegenerator.net/instance/41896495

Fix your
monitoring
Address alert fatigue
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chronic_fatigue_syndrome.JPG
Just because you can,
doesn’t mean you
should.
Control Interruption

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12023825@N04/2898021822/
Leverage
teams

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmoflash/3005865241/
Manage emergencies
#warroom / standing down stations

http://images.bwbx.io/cms/2012-05-16/etc_emergency21__01__630x420.jp...
Break up large tasks
http://www.flickr.com/photos/84617037@N00/60431147/
Improve workflow
BeerKan as an Agile
implementation

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshbousel/4676037839/
Ask for help!

http://www.smartsheet.com/files/haymaker/Help.Support.Advice.Guidance.Assistance.jpg
What really works for Avleen
● Communicate

● Validate

● Designate
What really works for Avleen
● Communicate

● Validate

● Designate
What really works for Avleen
● Communicate

● Validate

● Designate
http://blog.peopleperhour.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ReduceStress_at_work.jpg
A good manager should
Run interference
Watch for signs of stress

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdenker/33237141
Influence culture

http://www.flickr.com/photos/plutor/3169836251/
The making of this talk
Quantify your own interruptions

http://www.flickr.com/photos/magnetbox/3261773180/
Where do I begin?
1) Biggest impact
2) Social media diet
3) Involve management

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XguhVMDDtZ8/TrgF...
Questions?
http://xkcd.com/705/

@avleen

@unpixie
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects
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The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects

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Transcript of "The Interruptive Nature of Operations: A World of Squirrels and Shiny Objects"

  1. 1. The interruptive nature of Operations: A world of squirrels and shiny objects Avleen Vig, Etsy Carolyn Rowland, Independent Consultant http://www.desktopwallpaperhd.net/wallpapers/5/b/space-background-photos-widescreen-wallpaper-53163.jpg
  2. 2. Avleen: Staff operations engineer Carolyn: IT manager
  3. 3. That reminds me...
  4. 4. What is an interruption?
  5. 5. http://funny-pictures-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MEME-Leisure-Interruption.jpg
  6. 6. Active interruptions from people http://celebug.com/celebrity-gossip/page/118/
  7. 7. Passive interruptions from people http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonahowie/8583949219/
  8. 8. 2013: Michigan State University
  9. 9. Interruptions from systems http://newsaint.deviantart.com/art/shall-we-play-a-game-HDTV-168941674
  10. 10. Interrupting yourself ! ! http://www.flickr.com/photos/tilaneseven/407167294/ Switching tasks constantly Stop being your own worst enemy.
  11. 11. Are all interruptions bad? http://www.flickr.com/photos/doctorow/8456338189/
  12. 12. Simple Tasks vs Complex Tasks http://www.flickr.com/photos/hugo90/8233834956/
  13. 13. Commitment Saving the world
 20% complete
  14. 14. Commitment Saving the world
 80% complete
  15. 15. The impact of burnout Don’t let this be you. http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthur-caranta/2926332140
  16. 16. Fallacies http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/4115860027/
  17. 17. Fallacies: We need to know everything http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/steampunk-information-overload-mike-savad.jpg
  18. 18. Fallacies: Calendars help schedule your time Where does the work happen?
  19. 19. Fallacies: The interruption is the most important task http://www.expertcomics.com/enr//wp-content/uploads/2013/03/1slippery-300x200.jpg
  20. 20. Fallacies: Multitasking and productivity http://www.flickr.com/photos/indyplanets/3926147797/
  21. 21. http://www.onlinecollege.org/Multitasking/
  22. 22. Fallacies: Switching tasks is good http://xkcd.com/303/
  23. 23. How do we deal with things right now? (answer: badly)
  24. 24. You work too much http://buzz.socialmarketingforprinters.com/blogs/images/109195046.jpg
  25. 25. “Avleen needs to improve his work/life balance. He needs to focus a bit more on his own health and family, and communicate to me if his workload is too high.” ! - mcr, 2012
  26. 26. Tool disorganization ● Organization systems (e.g. Getting Things Done) ● Calendars ● Notebooks ● Post-it notes ● Emails to ourselves ● Todo lists ● Whiteboards ● Reminder apps ● Project management systems ● Our own [already over-taxed] memory
  27. 27. Tool disorganization OVERLOAD ● Self-help systems (e.g. GTD) ● Calendars Notebooks Post-it notes Emails to ourselves Todo lists Whiteboards Reminder apps Project management systems Our own [already over-taxed] memory ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● http://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherphotograph/3571242832/
  28. 28. http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/7645555148/
  29. 29. Interruption Science https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/2538256128/hAFB28B2E/
  30. 30. Mentally switch every
 3 minutes http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/3296379139/
  31. 31. (or maybe 25 minutes) http://www.flickr.com/photos/14829735@N00/6928288961
  32. 32. External interruptions
 lead to self-interruption http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdsmith1021/5755513005/
  33. 33. Why you can’t focus http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicamullen/5029081381/
  34. 34. So what can we do? Sharpen pencils!
  35. 35. Simplify
  36. 36. Resist destructive urges
  37. 37. Story time!
  38. 38. WIKIPEDIA
 HOLE!
  39. 39. xkcd #862 http://xkcd.com/862/ http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/02/18/distraction-affliction-correction-extensio/
  40. 40. Prioritize http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisflorence/7542642880/
  41. 41. Managers vs Makers http://www.flickr.com/photos/j_benson/7023561195/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkeefe/3123775954/
  42. 42. Manage your tools. Don’t let them manage you. Take control of tools http://www.eduleadership.org/wp-content/toolbelt.jpg
  43. 43. Take responsibility This is about discipline.
  44. 44. http://memegenerator.net/instance/41896495 Fix your monitoring
  45. 45. Address alert fatigue http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chronic_fatigue_syndrome.JPG
  46. 46. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  47. 47. Control Interruption http://www.flickr.com/photos/12023825@N04/2898021822/
  48. 48. Leverage teams http://www.flickr.com/photos/cosmoflash/3005865241/
  49. 49. Manage emergencies #warroom / standing down stations http://images.bwbx.io/cms/2012-05-16/etc_emergency21__01__630x420.jpg
  50. 50. Break up large tasks http://www.flickr.com/photos/84617037@N00/60431147/
  51. 51. Improve workflow
  52. 52. BeerKan as an Agile implementation http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshbousel/4676037839/
  53. 53. Ask for help! http://www.smartsheet.com/files/haymaker/Help.Support.Advice.Guidance.Assistance.jpg
  54. 54. What really works for Avleen ● Communicate
 ● Validate
 ● Designate
  55. 55. What really works for Avleen ● Communicate
 ● Validate
 ● Designate
  56. 56. What really works for Avleen ● Communicate
 ● Validate
 ● Designate
  57. 57. http://blog.peopleperhour.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ReduceStress_at_work.jpg
  58. 58. A good manager should Run interference Watch for signs of stress http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdenker/33237141
  59. 59. Influence culture http://www.flickr.com/photos/plutor/3169836251/
  60. 60. The making of this talk
  61. 61. Quantify your own interruptions http://www.flickr.com/photos/magnetbox/3261773180/
  62. 62. Where do I begin? 1) Biggest impact 2) Social media diet 3) Involve management http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XguhVMDDtZ8/TrgFtH8Pi6I/AAAAAAAAAx8/dFOheYXk5JE/
  63. 63. Questions? http://xkcd.com/705/ @avleen @unpixie
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