How to Answer the Dreaded ‘Got a Minute?’

How to Answer the Dreaded ‘Got a Minute?’

Time-Out-On-Interruptions-How-to-get-Time-Lock-Cooperation2Everyone seems to be too stretched for time these days. Yet when almost anybody asks, “Got a minute?” most people automatically answer, “Sure, how can I help?” How can you stop saying that each and every time and take more control of your busy workday? The following are some suggestions from Edward G. Brown.

Name the problem. As they say in therapy circles, if you can’t name it, you can’t fix it. Here’s the name: It’s not a minute – it’s an interruption, which causes a loss of momentum due to the work stoppage and time wasted reorganizing your thoughts.

Know your facts. You need to have a complete awareness of the critical tasks and separate them from that long list of minor tasks.

Don’t say “no.” The opposite of “yes” doesn’t have to be “no.” Say something like, “Joe, I would like to give you my full attention, but I am swamped right now. May I get back to you when we can chat?” This lets your “time bandit” know that his or her best interests aren’t served any better than yours by interruption. Most of all, they keep you from sounding like that selfish, non-team player that you dread.

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Edward G. Brown is an expert in corporate culture and behavior change. His sales and leadership programs has assisted Fortune 500 companies around the world.

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