Do you like to talk on the phone ?
The phone rings. It's a friend who wants to tell you about his or her latest health problem. You hate to be rude and cut your friend off, but what can you do ? Time management consultant Stephanie Winston, author of Stephanie Winston's Best Organizing Tips, offers this advice :
Do you think that you spend too much time on the phone ?
- Don't ask questions like "What's new?"
They give the impression that you have time to chat. After "hello" get right to the heart of the matter.
- Time your calls intelligently.
If you make a call right before lunch or dinner, or at the end of the workday, people chat less.
- Set a time limit.
Start with, "Hi, I've only got a few minutes, but I wanted to talk to you about . . . ."
Or, "Gee, I'd love to talk more, but I only have a couple of minutes before I have to run errands."
- Jump on a pause.
Even the most talkative caller has to pause now and then. Quickly say, "It has been great talking with you." Then end the conversation.
- Forget niceties.
Some people just don't take a hint. Interrupt your caller and say, " I'd like to talk to you longer, but I'm pressed for time. Good bye." Then hang up. Don't ask for permission to end the conversation.
- Find a "partner in crime"
If nothing else works, ask someone in your home to help you. For example, one woman signals her husband, who yells, "Kate, I think the roast is burning!"
- Avoid the phone completely.
Use an answering machine to screen calls. If you have an important message for a chatterbox, leave the message when he or she isn't in.