Interruptions cost you dearly.
As a writer, I know that allowing myself to be interrupted by a client or vendor (“Hey Ray – got a minute to talk about the new logo?”) can seem harmless… but it isn't.
That interruption costs me (a) the state of “flow” I was in while working, maybe impossible to recover, (b) the time of the interruption itself, and (c) the time it takes me to get back into the “zone” with what I was working on… minimum 20 minutes, maybe longer.
I can't afford to let that happen. Especially not in the “New Economy”.
My clients and customers can't afford for me to let that happen.
I once had a client who loved to call me at 11pm at night and talk for two hours. I tried to tell him I worked set hours and was available at those times, but he didn't seem to understand. When our first project was finished, I fired him. His dysfunction did not automatically become my problem.
Be warned – people will waste your time, if you let them. Will you let them? Be polite, be loving… but don't be a victim.
In the end, if you guard your time, you are being most respectful of other people.
Think about it: if you allow yourself to be interrupted, or your time wasted when you should have been doing something else… who suffers? Your clients. Your customers. Your family (“Sorry honey, I have to stay late because I wasted 2 hours today listening to the web team make excuses…”).
You're not serving anyone by being a poor steward of your time.
Question: do you think it is important to carefully guard your time, and if so, how do you do it?