Query bundling – an interruption handling tip

Ok, I feel really bad about this. Months ago, when I first had the idea of writing a self-help ebook *gasp*, I asked Ben Barden for a tip on how he handles interruptions. He gave one, and I’m ashamed to say it’s been sitting in my todo list for, well, months.

I’m often asked to do something when I’m already busy with something else. One way I deal with this is to request “query bundling” – basically, if someone expects to have a number of queries, it is far better if they collate the tasks and send them to me in one go, than to interrupt me every time they have a question. In some cases, certain requests can be related to others, so it’s actually quicker and easier to do a few of them at once.

– Ben Barden

I can understand this. When I first started working, I had tons of questions. How did this program work? Why are the programs scheduled in this order? When do we tell the users their reports are ready? What, why is that again?

After a while, I had this feeling that I’m interrupting my senior colleague too much. So without prompting, I started bunching questions together, and when I had to ask, I’ll unleash a few of them at one go. I’d also try to wait to ask when he’s not too busy, but that’s kind of subjective. He’s always busy. And not the useless kind of busy either.

Ben Barden is a musician, blogger and PHP developer. Find out more about him at his site www.benbarden.com

  1. Ben

    Ah, I wondered where that went! To be fair, I think I missed replying to your follow-up email, so that may be why this sat around for a bit. Actually, I’d forgotten about the tip, so I’m going to publish it over at Zen Working and link back to this post. Thanks for the link!

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