I had a great discussion the other day with a friend at lunch. It was about the incessant need everyone seems to have to answer their phone. No matter what. If it rings, it simply MUST be answered. Doesn’t matter what’s going on. Doesn’t matter what you’re in the middle of. Do any of you see a problem with this?
- Are you in the middle of a conversation with someone? Who cares? Must…answer…the…phone.
- Are you trying to finish an important project, and there’s a rapidly approaching deadline? Who cares? Must…answer…the…phone.
- Are you sleep deprived and need to get to bed, but a troublesome client is calling you at 11PM? Who cares? Must…answer…the…phone.
Seriously, where does this come from? Let it ring! Better yet…if you’re busy, turn the sucker off. Sanity and productivity are there for the taking. If you’re insane right now, it’s because there’s too much on your plate. Enough said. Is there any other reason? No. It’s the only reason. If you’re too busy, you need to do a better job at picking and choosing.
And the most powerful things that wreck our day are not the big projects that we take on. It’s the little ones. It’s the little “this will take just a second” phone calls, emails, IM’s and such.
What if you only took calls that you were expecting? Can you imagine how much more focused you would be? What if you simply returned all calls at a scheduled time each day? Would it be more productive?
Is your day getting wrecked by tiny little interruptions? Do you realize you have a choice in the matter?