How to keep personal phones calls from interrupting your business
If you depend on the phone for business, you need to find a way to keep the lines clear for business. If not, you can find yourself getting annoyed, frustrated and less productive. Take note of how many calls a day you take or make that are related to your business. Then write down the amount of personal phone calls you get that interrupt your business calls and work day. This will give you an idea of the importance of the calls and how much time you spend on each.
The one thing that you have to do is figure out a plan that will help you keep your calls in order. You don’t want to be interrupted when you are trying to talk to a potential client and have the beep of call waiting make the prospect lose focus on your conversation. Interruptions are considered something that is ‘not necessary now’. Of course you want to know immediately if you have a death in the family or if something bad has happened but there are certain things that you should not bother with at work.
It is important to figure out what is getting in your way and stop it. Most of the time, people find out that friends and family may be causing a dip in productivity – especially when you work in a home office as I do. Ignoring the problem will not help you at all.
One day I had a relative call during a training session with a client and I had forgotten to turn off call waiting (my practice during important calls). Lucky it was a good and patient client. My relative called my office line, home phone, cell phone and then the office line again. At this point I excused myself a moment and took the call only to ask her “Are you dying, is Mom in the hospital? If not I am talking with a client which is why I did not pick up any of the phone lines and you need to leave me a message.” She apologized when we talked later that night and it has never been a problem since.
- Having two different phone lines may be the right answer if you want to ensure you receive personal calls.
- You might want to answer personal calls only on your cell phone and the business calls managed by your office line.
- If you are working away from a desk you may want to have two cell phones on you at all times. Then one would be used for work only and the other would be for your personal calls to be handled.
If two phones are not an option you may just want to keep your cell phone off during the day so that you are not bothered with personal calls. This may be the best way to handle the problem of being bothered when you are trying to make or receive calls.
Remember running a successful business is one thing that you do not want to forget about. Make certain you are putting enough time into your clients and business and not talking on the personal line all the time. Some tips to help you manage these types of call or interruptions are:
- Mark off certain times of the day for your personal time. You might want to make all the calls that you need to for business in the morning or before two in the afternoon so that you are not being bothered with other things.
- Let people know your schedule so that they are not calling during the important times. This is going to help eliminate the problem calls that you are getting so you will not have to stress over it.
- Use Voice Mail or let the machine get the calls that can wait.
- Use Caller ID to help you make the choice of a call that can wait or not. Turn it off during very important calls where the beep can be distracting.
- If you have a problem caller – tell them otherwise they will never change their calling habits.
Learning to manage your time is one of the most efficient ways to make your career soar. You want to be able to have time to work on your business as well as give your family and friends time too. The only thing that you can really do to rectify the situation is make time for both. Figure out a plan of action that is going to work best for you and never let either one interfere with the other.
What tips to you employ to make certain you can connect with family and run your business?