Time Robbers

Email and Phone Calls

Email – this is a hard one for so many.  Are you addicted?

Tip 1:  Stop checking your e-mail every second.  It takes up enormous chunks of time.  This is a huge drain on energy and productivity.  Schedule when you’ll look at your email.  Perhaps it’s three times a day.  Turn off the “ding.”

Tip 2:  Here’s a tip that you may want to check with your boss first.  Use this tip if you are addicted to checking email and you are not required by your job to check as it comes in.  You can set up an auto-responder that says:  “Hi, I got your e-mail and will respond to you shortly during my e-mail checking hours which are …. Or “Thanks for your e-mail.  I’m tied up right now and will respond to you by the end of the day.” 

Phone calls

Tip 1:  If you don’t have the job of answering phones in the phone center, put your phone on silence.  Schedule time in your day to return phone calls – when you can give the call your full attention.  I always made it a point to return phone calls within 24 hours of receiving the call.  This is polite and professional.  There is nothing professional about not returning calls.  It’s part of your reputation.

Tip 2:  When you do return the phone call, you may go to voice mail.  Leave a message that answers the caller’s question as thoroughly as possible.  If you still need to talk to the person, include in your message when you’d be available to talk – write that on your calendar.  For those people you don’t want to talk to – return the call toward the end of the day and leave your message.

Tip 3:  A little about returning sales people’s calls.  Ignoring vendor calls is unprofessional.  You can get the vendor off your phone back very quickly and easily.  Call the vendor back and leave a message – or if you speak to them directly – say, I appreciate your call, I am not interested in your product right now – I will let you know when I am.  This will take you off the vendor’s call back list and allow you and them to move on.

Try these tips for a week and see if you get results.  You may be surprised how much more productive you can be!

Do you have any tips to share?  What works for you?  Leave a comment or a question below so we can all learn from each other.

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2 Responses to Time Robbers

  • Great tips, Holly!  I am trying to wean off of smart phone email addiction … in addition to wasting time, it's just rude to check email while in the presence of others.

    • Holly says:

      Jane –

      You’ve got that right – better to put away devices when you’re meeting with others – and in a meeting – no matter how boring!!


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