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"Got a minute?"
One challenge that many leaders face is that having an “open door” policy results in too many interruptions to their work they are trying to do that requires focus.
We want you to be able to do both—be an approachable and responsive boss with an open-door policy AND get your work done.
Consider when you are at your most productive—when you tend to have your best focus. Block about 90 minutes of that time off on your calendar each day, and then educate your staff: “I’m available to talk until 9:30 each morning, but then I’ve blocked off 9:30 to 11:00 each day so I can get some work completed without interruptions. Please come talk to me before or after this block.”
Put a note on your closed door during this time, perhaps something like: “On deadline—please come back after 11am.”
Reinforce that people should not ignore the “do not disturb” even if they only have a short question—even brief interruptions will still derail your focus.
Use the “focus” features to silence your device notifications (phone, laptop, etc.) during this time block.
If people have questions during this time, give them a place to let you know they’d like to speak with you. Have them add themselves to your online calendar at the end of the focus block, or leave a post-it on your door that they’d like you to come find them when you’re done, or send you a “Got a minute?” email or text that will come up when the blocked-out time ends.
Don’t check email or do other short-burst tasks in this time—schedule the things that require your full attention for a decent chunk of time—analyses, writing, design, etc.
Encourage your staff to do something similar, and then respect their focus-time, as well. You may be amazed at how much more productive your team becomes.
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