Hey Red! Phone Tag Sucks.

My clients (family/friends/strangers) always ask for my advice and recommendations on much more than just organizing. And the way I’ve seen it, if one has a question, I’m sure many do. Here’s where I’ll share these tips and answers with you!

Hey Red! Phone Tag Sucks.

Question: It feels like phone tag wastes a lot of my time. Is it?

Answer: Oh my yes. Phone tag is pretty much a time suck and so frustrating to deal with...especially in a business situation. If it will be easier to explain something through voice on voice action rather than email or text, schedule a time to talk with the person just as you would a meeting. We're all busy. This ensures that you'll actually get to talk to them and that you'll both be able to focus when you do it.

Next best thing to stop wasting time while playing phone tag?

Leave a proper voice mail!

True, not everyone even checks voice mail any more, but for those of us that do, there's nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a game of phone tag and not being able to properly respond to the need, thus continuing the tag-time-suck.

So what do I mean by a proper voice mail?

  • State your name, who you're with and phone number.
  • Say what you are calling for and ask the most pertinent questions if any.
  • Give the best time to call back and any possible alternatives.
  • Say your name and number again.

You want your phone number and the first and last of the message. It may get garbled or the person may not have been prepared to write. Also, there's nothing worse than having to sit through an entire message again just to get the phone number.

If someone doesn't need to call you back if they don't have a response, say so. One of my favorite voice mails ever was a woman that said if I don't have the information then I don't need to return her call. Saved us both time.

Phone tag can really waste a significant amount of your time - especially in business situations. To mitigate this, schedule important phone calls as you would meetings and leave proper voice mails so you aren't wasting anyone's time.

What are your favorite tips for not wasting time in phone tag?

Do you have a burning question? Perhaps just a simmering one? Send it to heyred@melindamassie.com.