You can make your day by knowing how to avoid non-urgent socializing; not knowing can turn your busy day upside down. You lose, and so do those having a stake in your timely performance.
Fortunately, most people want to have strong, positive relationships with those they interact with daily. There are non-offensive ways to deal with visitors and callers that preserve, even strengthen, the relationships with them.
You can avoid socializing that wastes critical time on a busy day. Not allowing important, but non-urgent, socializing to interrupt your focus on work begins with initially seizing control of conversations with visitors and callers.
You must control the culturally driven ways with which many if not most, others begin conversations with you. Most common are “Hi; how are you" . . . “Hello; how are you" . . . “How are you, today?"
Key to your gaining control is your response to the question, “How are you?" That question usually leads to untimely socializing.
Avoid making the normal response . . . “I'm fine; how are you?" That response can lead you and your visitor or caller to the non-urgent conversation you need to avoid at that time. You can politely answer the question, “How are you?" by saying something like “I'm fine; thank you" . . . followed by an appropriate statement, for example, “How can I help you?" or “Could you get the data I need?" or “What did you learn from Mary?" Ask a question that leads the conversation where you need it to go.
Socializing builds relationships, and there is never a time to be impolite or abrupt with visitors and callers. There are too many socially acceptable ways to direct conversations without offending co-workers and others.
Time Management tips on improving how you handle your visitors and callers are among the hundreds of personal development tips available from Dr. Larry Baker. To assess your current Time Management skills and habits and improve your opportunities for larger salary increases, promotions and greater success, go to:
For nearly 30 years, Dr. Larry Baker has been an internationally recognized consultant, coach, speaker, author and publisher. His articles, books, booklets, tape albums, movie scripts and personal performance assessment surveys cover many Time Management topics, including strategic, operational, performance planning, as well as organizational design and structure.