Fending Off a Colleague Who Keeps Wasting Your Time

by Dorie Clark

No one intends for their communication to be a burden; it’s not like people leave voice mails with the express purpose of distracting you from your most important work. And yet far too often that’s the result. You receive their missives with dread because each one entails more time expended and new obligations that you’ve been dragooned into.

It’s not malice that leads some people to overtax your inbox or waste your time. Some of your colleagues may simply be less busy—or less efficient—than you are, and their insistence on stopping by your desk to chat or bombarding you with needless information about projects you’re working on together can quickly deaden your productivity. ...

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