TM4T - Time Management Basics 16: Communication

All office workers (and that's YOU, dear teacher) typically carry out formal communication in four ways (in addition to face-to-face contact):
a) letters & memos
b) e-mails
c) telephone
d) meetings

Each of these has its own protocols and processes, and you can do them either efficiently or inefficiently. You should identify where your communication time will be spent and then make sure that you are doing whatever-you-do in an efficient way. Lots of little ways to be efficient:

1.    Have a clear desk policy. At the end of the day, clear everything, and decide what to do with it.

2.    Have a note pad by the phone. As far as possible, leave the sheets on the pad, so you have a history of calls and what was said.

3.    Keep a phone log, routinely jot down call durations,  and think about how to avoid long meandering calls.

4.    Have a set time for making outgoing calls (and ring-backs); plan what you are going to say beforehand. Make sure you have a place to make calls from that is well-equipped, wth all the information near at hand.

5.    Have a set time for accepting incoming calls (at other times, route all calls to voicemail)

6.    Actively discourage transferred calls (ie ask colleagues to take a message).

7.    Develop the willpower NOT to answer the phone (if there is an answerphone/voicemail provided).

8.    Don't always reply to a memo with a memo; use phone calls and e-mails or personal contact instead.

9.    Develop techniques to discourage chatty callers. The most extreme response is to say nothing at all.