There’s nothing like an instant message for some instant gratification in the middle of a project. Instant messaging may seem like a quick diversion, but those stolen minutes add up. If you can’t disconnect completely, set your status to “busy” for a good portion of the day. This should help deter frivolous chatter. Then, if someone bothers you with non-work-related chitchat, let him know you are in the middle of something and will get back to him as soon as you can.