Your time is important and you have to find a way to not have it abused. Over the years, many people have told me that people will walk into their office when they’re busy with a critical project, and want to take up their time.
An example I can give you of that now is one of the administrative assistants in my retirement community is a notary public. People constantly drop in asking her to notarize something. She is amazingly pleasant, cooperative and goes out of her way whenever she can. However, she has said to me, “Garf, people walk in anytime of the day no matter how busy I am or what projects I’m working on and it disrupts my work.”
I said to her, “Why don’t you train the people? When they walk in, simply say to them: I’d love to help you, but I’ve got this project that I’ve just got to get out in the next 45 minutes. Can we setup an appointment, and I would be glad to do it for you then?”
This worked extremely well, until one day, somebody walked into her office, and since she had nothing to do, she instantly responded by pulling out her notary seal. Later when we were talking about it, I said to her, “I thought you were going to tell the people that you were busy and going to setup an appointment?”
“But, Garf, I didn’t have a thing to do, and frankly, I was bored.” So, of course, she broke the training routine. I tried to convince her that even if she didn’t have anything to do at that moment, she should still setup an appointment.
Once again, the real problem is, your time is valuable, and you are a worthy person. Sometimes in an effort to be cooperative, you setup scenarios where you allow yourself to be taken advantage of. It may not be easy, but the answer is simply… you either train them or they train you.