In my newsletter I shared 4 Time Management Tips, with the promise of a bonus.  As a refresher, the 4 tips were:

Tip #1 – Handle Paper/Emails Once

Tip #2 – Overcome Procrastination

Tip # 3 – Know that “No” is a Complete Sentence!

Tip # 4 – Conduct a Time Study

So now, for Bonus Tip #5:

Tip #5 Dealing with Drop in Co-Workers/Visitors

They come in your office and may often start with the statement “Do you have a minute?”  Or, they walk in and sit right down.  Depending on who it is that statement usually means 25 minutes to an hour of your time. Here are some tips:

  • Ask for a brief summary.  Then say “I am in the middle of something right now.  I really want to focus and hear what you have to say.  Let’s schedule a time to meet.”
  • Set a time limit from the very beginning and stick to it. 
  • Stand up immediately and walk the person out of your office.  You can use that time to run to the bathroom or get some water before’ you return.
  • Close your door. Let your team or administrative assistant know you are there, but close the door so you can concentrate and complete your project.  If you don’t have an office, find and empty their cube with a sign that says “Please do not disturb or Working on special project.  Will be available after 3pm.
  • If it is truly brief and a legitimate emergency. Handle the question. Nip it in the bud.

Click here for some recommended Time Management Resources.