Six Tips for Saving Time on the Phone

Whether you use a mobile or a landline, or both, these six tips will help you to save time when talking on the phone.

…that sententious brevity which, using not a word to spare, leaves not a moment for inattention to the hearer

Thomas Jefferson

1) Use the speed dial and phone book facilities on your phones, they save a lot of time looking up numbers and almost as much “dialing” them.

2) Decide before you start what you want to get out of the call; it sounds too obvious for words, but do you want to discuss the matter or set up a meeting to discuss the matter or make a decision on the matter? The differences seem subtle but have a major effect on the duration of the call.

3) Make notes of the salient points to be discussed; messages you want to get across and also questions you need to get answers to. This will save you having to call again to tell or ask something you forgot.

time-task-management-guides4) The extra comfort of a hands-free or a head-set, encourages you to chat more informally than getting to the point, so avoid them if at all possible (unless the point of the call is to have a chinwag! Save chinwags for the times when using a hands-free is necessary, such as when you are driving).

5) Don’t take calls when you can’t devote the proper amount of attention to them; you’ll probably end up back at point 3 above. Use caller id to screen off callers who are either time bandits or who need more time than you can afford at that particular moment.

6) Get yourself a kitchen timer and use it to either:

a) Limit the duration of a call; “Hi Joan, I’m just giving you a quick call, I have five minutes, can you tell me…” “Oh, hello Joan, before we get into this call I have a meeting in three minutes, what can I do for you?”

b) Focus your mind when you are on a call; having a watch or clock in front of you focuses the mind on the passage of time and will help prevent finishing a call and realising that you have been on the phone for an hour and achieved very little.

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