This article examines and defines these terms and explains their relevance to you and your work

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

All areas; the article and lesson plan both deal with interruptions and the importance of personal relationships

Key Questions to Explore:

  • Why are interruptions considered to be negative events?
  • Can they in fact be positive interventions?
  • How important are human interactions to us and how do we monitor them?

New Terminology:


Materials Needed:

Access to the article and a significant other in order to discuss ideas.

Study and Discussion Activity


These are indeed stressful times. We have all kinds of questions, few answers and little assurance. That produces stress and increases our need to alleviate our angst. Sometimes, as a means of distracting ourselves, we focus on tasks, be they job-related or of our own making. This focus provides us with a much-needed sense of empowerment – we are doing something to show that we are not helpless victims of situation and circumstance. We look for a sense of accomplishment. As we focus and concentrate on these assumed tasks, we more often than not have little tolerance for interruptions.  As we proceed down this path, we begin to lose our focus on the truly important things in life and our attention becomes riveted on task completion. This activity will reinforce the value of personal relationships and the importance they have, especially in trying times such as these.


  • Interruptions, interruptions, interruptions!! Why do we find them so annoying?
  • Take a moment to list the ways in which you have recently been interrupted while attempting to complete a task.
  • Once you have done this, list who or what were the sources of those interruptions.
  • Try to identify just how much those interruptions prevented you from attaining your goal.
  • It is true that at times interruptions are indeed negative events.
  • List some of the things these interruptions have prevented you from doing.
  • Read the article and reflect on the ideas presented.
  • Imagine now what your situation would be like if you were never interrupted.
  • Imagine how much you could get done.
  • Now consider what life would be like if this were a continual state. Would you be happy?
  • Identify what would be wrong with this situation.
  • Imagine now that you were in a snowbound cabin with no prospect of seeing the important people in your life, or anyone else for that matter, for months.
  • Give pause and think for a moment about the valuable role those people play in your life.
  • List the important things that these people bring to you.
  • Compare the things that you were prohibited from doing because of interruptions with the list of important things people provide for you.


  • Reflect on, or discuss with a significant other, what conclusions you have drawn from comparing the two lists.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Recognizing the importance of personal relationships and the ways in which they can help us remain positive and grounded as we face challenges in life.

Confirming Activity:

  • Discuss the value and role that personal relationships can play during times such as we are currently facing and how they can help us navigate through these tough and angry seas.