15 Tips on Dealing with Interrupting Drop-In Time Wasters

Apr 19, 2011 Comments Off by


  1. Implement a system, using your secretary/reception if available, to screen visitors.
  2. Analyse your interruptions by frequency, time of day and by whom.
  3. If certain individuals are the prime ‘culprits’ explain to them how you would like them to behave and why. Possibly they need training or more authority to act by themselves.
  4. Plan your focused activities around those times of day when interruptions are least likely to occur.
  5. Schedule, and advertise, your ‘hours of opening’ – times each day when you are available.
  6. Use a sign on your desk/door to indicate to colleagues that you are not available and the next time when you will be available.
  7. Hold regular, and short, meetings with your staff/colleagues to allow them to raise any considerations at times convenient to you all.
  8. Delegate more (not forgetting also to delegate the authority to make decisions, to act etc).
  9. Go somewhere else to work (even home) when peace and quiet are essential.
  10. Find out first what they want from you – you’ve been interrupted anyway! Even though your current work is high on your priority list it may be that the interruption is so high on theirs that you decide that it should take precedence.
  11. Agree how much time you can spare at that moment.
  12. Show interest in what they wish to discuss, let them know that you wish to talk to them but it is not possible at present. Establish how long it will take and agree to meet at a later stage at a mutually convenient time.
  13. Don’t ask your guest to sit down, rather, you stand up and move in front of your desk.
  14. If you have a visitor’s chair, ensure it is well away from your desk. You then have control in that you decide whether or not to draw it close and invite them to join you.
  15. If possible, you go to them-away from your desk. You can then control when you leave

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Author – Stuart Harris, Director of DRIVE Training & Development Ltd who specialise in Sales, Customer Service and Management Training,  mainly but not solely, in Call Centres in the UK


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