Get-It-Done Guy has an easy tip on how to avoid those lengthy phone calls and messages.
We all have those clients, those friends, those colleagues who enjoy talking on the phone, even if no one is there to listen. They think nothing of leaving you a 10-minute-long rambling voicemail in which only 30 seconds are of actual relevance. How do we discourage this waste of time without looking like a jerk?
Simple: Make your voicemail an unfriendly place to be.
Set your voicemail to give an automated outgoing message only. Something like: "Please don't leave a message. This voicemail never gets checked. Send me an email at…." Use the passive voice for and the caller will casually overlook the fact that you are the one who decided not to do the checking.
I know what you’re thinking: "Won’t people think I’m being rude? Shouldn’t I explain myself?" That's a myth. You don't actually have to explain anything; just tell the truth and offer an alternative method of reaching you. "I'm not checking voicemail, though I am checking e-mail. Feel free to contact me at…" This way, the ball is in their court. They will either follow your chosen communication method, or they won’t reach you.
Phone call image courtesy of Shutterstock.