How to Reduce Time Spent on the Phone

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Even though we need our phones, the time we spend talking and texting often goes to ridiculous expanses of time wasted. Phones are meant to save time – not kill. Make more time for real life by cutting down the time you spend talking on the phone.

Give People Appointments for Phone Conversations

To a college kid, that sounds ridiculous. But when you are so busy you only have free time measurable in sections of minutes, it’s better to tell people when you are free for them, rather than constantly telling them, again and again, to call later.

This will also encourage others to respect their time. Ask them when they are likely to be free to take phone calls.

Also Read: Learn to Strike A Balance Between Work & Life

Be Specific About What You Want

If you talk to a lot of people everyday, daily chit-chat can be more a chore than something you enjoy. Replace that with focussed, productive phone-time.

Leave a message (SMS/answering machine) telling the topic you want to discuss, lest you get dragged into „hi-hello-how-are-you doing“, which may veer off into gossip.

Outsource the Phone Call

For simple messages you don’t need to address on the phone, outsource them to –

a. email
b. Voice mail
c. A secretary

Email or Fax Numbers and Facts

If there’s numbers that need to be crunched, there’s a good chance you have them down in a spreadsheet or somewhere in your computer. It’s a waste of time to read them out to someone on the phone. Instead, mail them. Ditto for small progress reports that can be SMS’d or emailed.

Screen your Calls

Unless its an emergency, you don’t need to take personal calls during office times. Ask your friends to text – you’ll read and respond SMSs in your spare time. You’ll get through your work faster, and have more personal time for yourself.

Don’t be Afraid to End Calls

Intelligent, sensible people will respect you for ending a call if you really don’t have time for them at the moment. For others, use the time-tested „I can’t hear you. There’s a connection problem…“

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