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The Five Golden Rules of In-Person Time Management

People who get to you in person represent the most insidious interruptions. They are more difficult to ignore than phone and e mail and you need more effective techniques.  
 
1. Set up a ‘private time’ 
 
Set up a time of day when you are not to be interrupted. If you find this difficult start with half an hour a day and set up a signal that you are not to be interrupted during this time.
 
2. Implement a ‘modified open door policy’ 
 
The great thing about having an open door policy is that when you close your door it should be an absolute barrier.
 
3. Don’t sit where the door is in your direct line of vision 
 
 It will make it more difficult for people to hover irritably in your space trying to attract your attention.
 
4. Require that your people give you a 30 second summary of what they want from you  
 
If it isn’t something that you want to deal with there and then set a time later in the day for them to come back.
 
5. Don’t accept the monkey  
 
When somebody comes to you with a problem it is as though they have a monkey on their back that they want to give to you.  Make them keep it, solve their own issues and come up with their own solutions.