Shortening Long Phone Calls

by Debra Wyatt
(last updated January 6, 2015)

I have noticed that both at home and work a lot of time is wasted by phone calls. Not only are they disruptive to begin with, and take time away from what I was doing I find that it is sometimes hard to get back into the work that I was doing before the phone call. Private phone calls at work can also be disturbing to co-workers that are sitting around you. You try hard not to overhear what other conversations are, but they seem to be talking so loud that you can't avoid it. You may not be able to do anything about their behavior but by example you can show them ways to handle time being spent on private phone calls.

When it comes to private phone calls they can create quite a disturbance with staying organized either at home or at the office. Some of those phone calls that really should take two minutes end up taking 15 or 20 minutes of your time. Next thing you know, you are frustrated and behind schedule and then it's hard to get back into doing your work.

There are three basic steps that help in eliminating wasting time with long phone calls:

  1. Warn them about your time limit.
  2. Use a timer
  3. Prepare for the call ahead of time

When I receive a phone call I begin with step one and tell the person that I am talking to that I have a time schedule that I really need to keep to. That unfortunately that means that I will have to limit my time with the phone call, but that I can give them five minutes to talk right then. When the time is up I am polite and I thank them for the phone call and tell them that I must hang up the phone now because my time is over. I simply say good bye and hang up.

The second step is to use some sort of timer. This timer could be anything from an egg timer to using the alarm on your cell phone. I like using the alarm on my cell phone. For one reason I know that the person on the other can hear the alarm go off. It seems that a lot of time is wasted because I have gotten so involved with the conversation that I lose track of time and that I have lost 15 or 20 minutes without even realizing that the time has past. When the timer goes off politely end the conversation. At work a private phone of 5 minutes is plenty of time to say what needs to be said in public.

I have found that the third step is more for when I am placing the phone call. I simply write out some of the things that I want to cover in the phone call. I keep the list close by and when I am finished with that item I simply just mark it off. When the list is finished I politely end the phone call.

I noticed that just by following these three basic steps I can keep my time on my phone calls down to a manageable time.

Author Bio

Debra Wyatt

Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church. ...

MORE FROM DEBRA

Fruit Punch Slush

Needing a great non-alcoholic drink? This fruit punch slush is a great one! It can be used for either large or small parties. ...

Discover More

Deep Frying at Home

Does the idea of deep frying scare you? You can actually have some fun deep frying with the Kalorik Deep Fryer; it's perfect ...

Discover More

Organizing a Neighborhood Watch

The Neighborhood Watch Program is a program that is set-up by a group of concerned citizens who join forces to watch over ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Organizing Tips

Time Management Courses

Time management courses can either be the greatest thing since sliced bread, or the biggest waste of time. If you have ever ...

Discover More

Managing Time

Getting everything done that you need to accomplish during the day can be tricky. It can help a lot if you do a little ...

Discover More

Organizing Your Day for Brainpower

How many times have you felt mentally exhausted halfway through the day? This common occurrence can easily be remedied with ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured organizational tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured organizational tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)