If you are in leadership or a worker, you can put a stop to the unnecessary conversation both on and offline early on before it catches up to you by Friday.
1. Talk while you walk or perform other duties.
Although those who like undivided attention will grimace about this, you will need to do what you can to tackle that task list. You can always invite the chatty one to help; otherwise, keep it moving!
2. Interrupt those who are sharing details about themselves and others that are irrelevant to the issues at hand.
There is a time and place for everything, but is it really necessary to listen to someone who has a long list of complaints and no solutions? Besides, how relevant is the subject matter to what you do at the workplace?
3. Excuse yourself from meetings that are headed into insignificant discussion.
Fear keeps some workers sitting in rooms watching a self-absorbed boss perform. So worried that they might look bad exiting a meeting early, workers will sit and sit. Meanwhile, work isn't getting done. Will your boss and other leaders be understanding when assignments aren't completed while you say, "Well it's because of all those long meeting you had me sit in is why I was unable to meet deadlines"?
4. If you are behind in work, come in early or stay late.
Some employees hate the idea of doing this, but when you have no other choice and it seems that you are the one who is always being interrupted by someone who wants to talk your head off, you will need to do what you must. The alternative is to come up with a better way to distance yourself from the socializing that takes up most of your time during the day.
5. Avoid the temptation to lie, cover up and do other things to appear like you worked hard during the day when you know differently.
Employees that are repeatedly guilty of exchanging non-related work stories have an arsenal of reasons as to why phone calls were not returned, emails were ignored, and more. Some leaders will throw workers under the bus when their bosses call them out on unmet demands. Cover yourself and be sure you are not the one taking up time talking about frivolous things and remind your leadership in writing of what they said they needed to get accomplished by Friday and list what you have been doing to meet goals.
6. Take responsibility for your inaction, slow responses, and time consuming socializing.
So let's say you or someone you know was busted in the act of wasting valuable company time doing other things. Do you make excuses for the behavior? Of course not. But some will in the hopes of not getting written up or worse fired. If you know that you should have done better managing your time, confess and do better next time. For starters, set up a reminder on your phone, computer, tablet and elsewhere to keep you on task. Set a timer that alerts everyone meeting is over.
7. Notice what you are doing and not doing that is affecting work flow.
Think of everything you do each day and how much time it takes for you to get things done. Cut back on some tasks, delegate others, and throw out the useless ones. Sooner or later, someone will be asking you how you spend your workday. Be prepared to answer and provide beneficial proof.
The less you talk about frivolous matters at work, while cutting meeting time about significant issues, the more time you will have to get things done and be home with your family.
Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight about work, relationships, faith, and more here.