A five-minute interruption is not five minutes. It is at least 10 minutes and can be as long as 30 minutes.

Why? Because once you off task it takes a few minutes to remember what you were doing and refocus.

People do favors for me all the time, for which I am grateful. I like to reciprocate and I like to be responsive.

But the important work, the work that helps my clients and keeps the lights on, gets pushed aside.

I know that human beings have about four hours of true focus each day. We like to pretend that we have more, but it is not true. For me, that focus is best in the morning.

So, new rule: everyone gets all the favors you want.

After lunch.