There is nothing more unproductive at work than casual conversations with colleagues - especially when they are not related to work. You should therefore avoid private conversations during your meetings and reduce interruptions for a chat in phases of work.
On the other hand it is important to maintain good relationships in your organization and the informal exchange of information often is very fruitful for your work too. I therefore suggest using specific time slots for this by:
- Systematically select the people you go to lunch with
- Planning some coffee breaks in between two tasks or meetings and allowing a small chat in the coffee corner, but restrict the length
- Go for a drink after work with a colleague from time to time
- Regularly attend the company’s events