Real-World Time Management

By Roy Alexander; Michael S. Dobson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
STARVING OUT THE TIME GOBBLERS

“What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet to
have no regard to throwing away by parcels
…”

—JOHN HOWE, ENGLISH THEOLOGIAN

George, a rising manager, asked his boss about his biggest time management problem—his staff. “I can do my work—or could,” said George. “But I'm constantly interrupted by the people who work for me. If I'm stopped every five minutes, I can't do my own work.”

This problem bothers many. Don't let it be a serious roadblock to you. Your work and their work can (must!) coexist.

Sure, an open-door policy is good. But that shouldn't preclude block time when your door is closed—from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. each Wednesday and Friday, for instance. People will work around that—just as if you were out. (Top managers keep coming back to block time again and again as their cornerstone to getting things done.)

So make your open-door policy figurative, not literal, until you get elevated enough to sit around all day, inviting interruptions. (And if this ever materializes, it'll sound suspiciously as though you're on a plateau—because top people don't do it.)

Doors are meant to be closed when you're planning or writing reports. “There is this crazy idea abroad in business today that you only shut your door when you are firing someone,” says Bill, an ad agency chairman. “Any

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