How to Banish Time Bandits

4 tips to stopping office interruptions

Written by Deena Waisberg

Can’t even get to making your to-do list, let alone finish it? Your staff may be getting in the way. Interruptions from e-mail, phone calls and people at the office door eat up a quarter of the average workday. Try these ways to minimize office interruptions:

1. Keep staff in the loop. “Interruptions often occur because staff don’t have enough information,” says Harold Taylor, of Toronto-based Harold Taylor Time Management Consultants Inc. Convene a five-minute stand-up meeting each morning to brief everyone on pertinent projects and developments.

2. Save ’em up. Where possible, request that your staff collect their questions and meet with you at the end of the day. That means one interruption instead of four or five.

3. Screen your calls. While working on important projects, send telephone calls directly to voice mail or have an assistant take messages. You can return calls at your convenience.

4. Curb chatty co-workers. If you see someone heading for your office, stand up and look at your watch to signal you’re in a hurry. Or ask staff to walk and talk with you, which will give you a destination at which you’re forced to wrap up the conversation.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com