A recent publication of the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the
Senate’s internal house-keeping and security agency, carries
productivity-improvement tips that are of general interest
to government managers.
While some of the tips are the same as can be found in many
such resources–make “to do” lists and prioritize tasks, tackle
the most difficult job first, and organize your workspace–some
fall outside the mainstream. For example, it advises not
allowing work to be interrupted by other people’s priorities
in the name of being a team player. “Learn to say no in a
polite but firm manner,” it advises.
Other suggestions it offers to create an “interruption-free
zone” include: put a sign on your door that tells others when
you can be interrupted, such as “available after 1 p.m.” and
don’t hold discussions in your own office. “Even if a discussion
starts in your office, move it to your co-worker’s. That way,
you can get up and leave when you’re ready,” it says.