Who’s your gate keeper?

Who’s your gate keeper? – By Arnie Wohlgemut

“Wow, am I tired by the time I go home!”

We’ve all been there.  Nonstop days where we don’t have a minute to gather our thoughts.  I remember the times when my only space to unwind was on the commute home.

Those nonstop, running hard days can be our demise.  I learned that I needed to be a better gate keeper, focusing on delivering results not busy work.

“Take control of your time. If you don’t, others will.”

Here are five habits I that helped me increase effectiveness:

  1. Start your day knowing what you need to accomplish or achieve.  Ideally this list was created the day before!  (I used the back of old business cards to make my lists!)
  2. Block time for you to do those high value items on your list.  Resist the temptation to do the easy things first. Set priorities and keep them.  Work through your list priority by priority.
  3. Prioritize quality face-to-face time (‘one-on-one’ meetings).  By honouring face time, your team knows you will guarantee your undivided attention during this time.  This reduces the drop-in chats and time wasters.
  4. Close your door or find a place where you can “close the door” when you need to focus.  An open-door policy is great – but protect your time by closing the door when you need to focus.  Constant interruptions deter focus.
  5. Use your voice mail. (One of my mentors said: “God created voicemail for a reason.”)  Your time is precious; protect it.  Not every call needs to be answered.  When you retrieve messages, treat them with respect since that person took the time to leave a message.  Log it in your journal or some form of a call log and respond in a timely manner.

In short: Take control of your time. If you don’t, others will.


Arnie Wohlgemut is the Senior Coach and President of KP Mylene | Building to Lead, a leadership development and facilities management consulting company. He’s passionate about supporting new or emerging leaders with unique and exciting resources that inspire them to reach their potential.