What's Your Response Time?
How do you get any work done when the phone keeps ringing and the email alert dings every few minutes?
When I'm in the middle of an Excel programming project, I need to concentrate, or I lose time and momentum. To help reduce the distractions I turn off the email alerts and unplug the phone, then focus on the project for a few uninterrupted hours. It's amazing how much I can get done!
My clients know that I'm frequently unavailable, either out at meetings, or working away from the phone. If they leave a message or send an email, I'll respond within 24 hours. On those rare occasions that I'm away for a few days, I warn my clients in advance, and my voice mail gives my return date, so people know when to expect a reply.
In Take Back Your Life, Sally McGhee suggests adding a response time to your voice mail and your email signature. You'll get more done because you can focus on your work, then respond to phone calls and emails once or twice during the day.