You, like me, have an open door policy. This policy works well and can be good, however, it can distract and derail your thinking. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of working on a challenging problem, only to have someone walk in and ask a simple question that derails your whole train of thought. Studies show it then takes an average of 20 minutes to get back to where you were interrupted. How long does it take you? Do you know?
If you are being interrupted throughout the day, there is a very simple thing you can do to get an hour or two uninterrupted.
Invest in a $2 “Do Not Disturb” sign. While this does not always work, with training, the people in your office will get the message. You can also add a “Will return at X O’clock” so they know when you will be available.
Let everyone that visits the office know what you’re doing, and why.
Then be consistent. For example every three to four pm be unavailable. It might take a little time, but soon everyone will know you’re unavailable during those times. And almost like magic, you have a solid block of time to focus on your work, not someone elses.