Stop interruptions: 4 gatekeeper moves

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

More than half of senior executives say they’re interrupted about once every 30 minutes, according to a Center for Creative Leadership survey. And, they add, those interruptions are sometimes a problem.

Here’s where assistants can play a vital role. Stave off interruptions by partnering with your boss, using these tactics:

1. Remain the ever-vigilant gatekeeper.
Post a sign on the boss’s door that says, “On a conference call, please check in with [assistant’s name].” It trains people to work through you.

2. Prioritize her calendar.
Block work and open time on your boss’s agenda, and set appointments for tackling specific tasks that need to get done each day.

3. Filter office calls. Learn which calls are important enough to put through, and take messages for the rest. Schedule a time each day for your boss to return missed calls.

4. Commandeer the boss’s cell phone. It can be as much of a distraction as office phones. Hand over only truly urgent calls, so your boss’s mind stays focused on work.

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