Limiting Call Distractions
Limiting phone distractions is a crucial step of any time management program. Since it's impossible to block all phone calls (or you'll be out of business soon), designate a phone-free period to give you more time to do your own work. Try these techniques to give you more control over your telephone time.
Ask somebody to answer your calls.
If you have one, ask your secretary to field your calls, if not, you and a colleague can take turns answering each other's phone calls. Prepare a list of important callers to whom you will always speak to (boss, important clients) to avoid missing important calls.
Use your voice mail.
If used appropriately, voice mail can help you get uninterrupted work. However, limit its use to an hour or two and always return every call.
Return all calls at one time starting with the most urgent ones.
Schedule when to return calls.
To make calls brief, return calls when people are less inclined to chat: right before lunch or near the end of the day.