what to say when you are being interrupted at work

When you are trying to get your work done, there is nothing worse than unnecessary interruptions by colleagues.

Sure, we all like to take a break at times, but when Betty Sue is lurking in the hallway looking to talk because she doesn’t want to tackle her own work it can start to affect yours.

Part of having a successful career is maintaining good relationships at work, you don’t want to offend or step on anyone’s toes but you need to set some personal boundaries. You can start with the obvious, shutting your door if possible or a sign on your door with a message that you are going to be busy between certain hours.

If you allow people to repeatedly interrupt you, they will continue to do so. What you need to do is teach people how they will get the fastest result from you.

When someone shows up and asks for something that isn’t urgent let them know that you are working on a deadline and you are unable to talk. Tell them to email you a request and you will get to it later that day. Keep your tone pleasant, kind and be firm that you can’t be walked over.

The interloper will probably push back that they only need a minute of your time. We all know how long it takes to get back on task when your train of thought has been derailed, especially if you are in the flow on a project. You can say, “Send me an email and I will get to it as soon as possible. I am happy to help.

Five things you can say if someone interrupts you at work

1. How long do you need? I am available for 2 minutes now or half an hour this afternoon.

2. I would love to catch up with you when I am not on a deadline.

3. I can see that this is really important, I am swamped right now but we can look at my priorities later and see if you want to put his ahead of other projects.

4. I am working on a project that requires s uninterrupted focus time. Would tomorrow work to meet up?

5. I am in the middle of something right now. Can we meet up in a couple of hours?

Next time you are unnecessarily interrupted use one of our great replies to let people know that you are not available at their beck and call.

More comebacks you might like

Rosie was tired of her coworker constantly interrupting her

Rosie found herself increasingly weary of her coworker’s persistent habit of interrupting her during meetings and discussions. Despite her best efforts to convey her thoughts and contribute to the conversation, her coworker’s frequent interjections disrupted the flow of communication and left Rosie feeling unheard and undervalued.

The constant interruptions not only hindered the productivity of their collaborative efforts but also took a toll on Rosie’s confidence and sense of professional respect. As the interruptions persisted, Rosie realized the need to address the issue directly with her coworker.

In a respectful and candid conversation, she expressed how the interruptions were impacting their work dynamic and her ability to effectively communicate her ideas. Together, they established a mutual understanding of the importance of active listening and respectful communication, paving the way for a more harmonious and inclusive work environment.

Through open dialogue and a shared commitment to fostering a culture of respect, Rosie and her coworker were able to create a more conducive and collaborative space where each voice was given the opportunity to be heard and valued.

The Role of counselling and self care

I Should Have Said Media will earn a commission after clicking links on this page at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

When you are dealing with a colleague who interrupts you. and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with an obnoxious person? Share them in the comments below.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *