Stem the tide of interruptions by adopting a military tactic: Train your people to make their own decisions.
Many interruptions come from decision-averse people, or people who think they don’t have the power to make decisions. Make sure others understand the big picture, including your goals and policies. Then give them the power.
Example: Major Gen. George Smith Patton told his newly hired aide that he trusted his judgment. “If you ever get fired around here, it will be because of something you’ve failed to do rather than something you tried to do right.” That gave the aide permission to do his job and make decisions as needed, without interrupting the boss.
—Adapted from “Five Secrets to Avoiding Workplace Interruptions,” Dale Collie, www.couragebuilders.com.