1. Shut off your e-mail for short periods so you can avoid the temptation to leave your current project and rush to read the pop-up.

2. Have a screening process for your phone calls. If you don’t have caller id sign-up for it. If you have caller id, answer the phone calls you deem timely. If it is someone who you know you will talk to too long, make an appointment to talk to them or call them on your ride home from work tonight.

3. Be short, but specific with your responses. Limit return questions by phone or e-mail by stating everything clearly. Much of e-mail traffic is follow-up questions that could have been avoided the first time around.

4. Politely end conversations that are taking you away from your work or goals. For example, “I am really excited to talk to you, but I am caught up in a project right now, can we schedule a time to chat when I am less distracted?”

5. Knowing what you want to accomplish in the time period is important. By identifying your goals and making them visable you will have greater success at focusing on them and not the new ones that pop up during the day. Being reactive will allow you toget sucked into activities and conversations you are not interested in and don’t have time for.

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