Help Your Multitasking Colleague Break the Habit

  • Share
  • Read Later

Everyone these days is trying to get several things done at once. But it’s frustrating to work with someone who won’t stop glancing at his phone or even takes calls mid-meeting. If a co-worker’s inability to focus is bringing you down, try these three tactics:

  • Call him out mid-task. Not everyone is self-aware. Pointing out the behavior may bring attention to it and how it’s affecting you.
  • Find a new time to meet. Suggest that you reschedule for a time when he can focus. Try a slot at the beginning of the workday, before the day’s emails start rolling in.
  • Physically disengage. Get his attention by moving to another part of the room. Then it’s up to him to reconnect when he’s done with his task.

Adapted from “Multitasking’s Real Victims” by Daniel Gulati.

Visit Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip homepage

Purchase the HBR Management Tips book