If you´re a sports fan like I am you know the power of the home field advantage. When a team gets to sleep in its own bed, eat home cooking and play in front of screaming home fans they play much better than they do on the road. Even the best teams play much better at home than they do on the road.
But that´s sports. In the terms of productivity, home field advantage can actually be a huge disadvantage. It can be a drain on your time. Think about all the times when you have been sitting in your office and someone has dropped in to ask a question, or just for a visit. It seems that most of those visits end up lasting longer than you would prefer them to. That means you are stuck in a conversation you don´t want to be in instead of doing the work you need to do. You´re on your home court, but it´s a disadvantage because you can´t leave. You´re at the whim of the person invading your space and blocking your door.
There are ways to avoid this annoying and time destroying situation. The most straight forward solution would be to ask the person to leave, but that doesn´t always work, especially when the invader is your boss. Instead, you need to seize road field advantage for yourself.
Try this — next time somebody comes to ask a question, take control of the situation. Tell the person that you have to finish off what you are working on, but that you will come see them as soon as you are done. Even if you aren´t actually finishing something up, just wait five minutes and then head out to answer a question.
The biggest advantage of this situation is that you can leave when you want to leave. If a conversation drags on and you can feel your time getting sucked away, you can just make a simple excuse and head out. Going on the road may not be the best thing for your favorite team, but it can help make you more productive.