IM’s can be a great communication and productivity tool. Like any good thing however, too much can be a problem. When you really need to concentrate here are some thoughts on managing your IM.
An IM you use for communications with clients or co workers if, during business hours you need to focus on a task set a period of time. For example, 1 hour. State that time length on your away message.
An IM client that is used for general business communications.
When your business IM does not have a specific purpose you should fee free to put on your away message as you need.
A personal IM
Just turn it off. Your friends can wait for awhile.