The question “Can I steal you for a second?” can be just as dangerous at work as it is on The Bachelor. These unscheduled visitors can really mess with our plan for the day, even if they are your work BFF and you are catching up on what happened over the weekend. So, how do we make time for work relationships and still have time to get stuff done?

Annie Mueller suggests, “When it’s time to be with people, be with them. Give them your attention, all of it. When it’s time to work, fight against wasted time by saying, “Not now, please,” and closing the door. “

I’m not sure that keeping my door closed at the office will really help, people will probably just knock first before they come in. I do like her point about giving people all of your attention.

In the article, 5 Ways To Deal With Unscheduled Visitors, Cornilius Parwaringira says “Let them know that you have something important that you are dealing with. People take it for granted that only them are important and their business is more important than your personal priorities.”

He reminds us in the article it is important to tell them in a diplomatic manner so you don’t ruin your relationship.

I think that in addition to telling them I am busy in a “diplomatic manner,” I will add that they are important to me and I would love to help them with that just as soon as I finish what I am working on.

What are your best strategies that you have used in your own organization to overcome the epidemic of wasted hours at work? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Photo Credit – Kathy Weller