Much has been written about how informal distractions, such as telephone calls and impromptu interruptions, can throw off a work schedule, but much less attention is devoted to the formal distractions that consume far more time.
For example, rather than worrying about the phone calls and interruptions related to a standing committee's work, it may make more sense to consider whether the committee itself should exist. If its work can be better accomplished via other avenues, the committee is a time-waster and a distraction from other, more worthy, endeavors.
Standing committees, like government programs, need sunset laws. Their very existence should be periodically reviewed.