This is the sixth post in the continuing series 31 Tips to Spend Time Properly. These time management tips will help you invest your minutes and hours more wisely, productively and energetically each day. Some of the tips can be done immediately; others require cultivation. All are time well spent.
31 Ways to Spend Time Properly
Tips 25-29: Phone calls, emails and getting things done
25. Less is more and always best. Keep emails, memos and letters brief. Only address the issue. Do not say more than is required. Verbosity costs you and your reader extra time, and worse, potential confusion which can lead to errors. Dailywritingtips.com has a very practical article called 8 Steps to More Concise Writing. The University of North Carolina’s Writing Center is another resource for concise writing. One example they offer is replacing negatives with affirmatives: “Expressing ideas in negative form means you must use an extra word; it also makes readers work harder to figure out your meaning.”
26. Voicemail can be a good thing. Admit it — most everyone hates voicemail — the never ending accumulation of requests, or worse, complaints. But sometimes it’s better to accumulate voicemails if high concentration is required by a task. Do not allow yourself to be interrupted. But voicemail is two-way: sending and receiving. How do you treat others who listen to your voicemails? Becoming an excellent voicemailer is a great way to model a solution to others — do undo others what you would have them do unto you! Limit the length of your calls. We live in a day of information overload. Howtogeek.com offers some simple advice. The University of Missouri-Kansas City has some great voicemail etiquette tips.
27. Do not disturb. Just like when you stay at a hotel and want privacy, close your office door when you do not want to be disturbed and put a sign on your door. If you work in a cubical, string your sign across the entrance. Use humor, if allowed. Your coworkers will get the point. MOMMD.com makes a good point about setting boundaries that honor you.
28. Setting Boundaries. Meet visitors outside your office and remain standing when you talk with them if you need to keep the consultation brief. Develop techniques to help set conversational boundaries, as Harvard Business Review suggests.
29. Limit interruptions. When someone calls for an appointment, be direct and ask how long the consultation will take. Learn how to say no, politely.