How to save time without looking like a jerk


If you spend a lot of (non-billable) time on the phone and find that all that chatting is keeping you from doing other work, I have a suggestion. Okay, two suggestions.

First, whenever you’re on the phone keep a clock or timer in front of you. Being aware of how much time you spend on each call will help you reduce that time.

If you can cut the average call from 15 minutes to 10, for example, and you are on ten calls each day, at the end of the day, you’ll reclaim 50 minutes.

The second suggestion will allow you to cut calls short without appearing rude.

All you have to do is to make a point of announcing at the start of the call that you “only have five minutes” or that you have an appointment coming up and you “have to make this quick” or something along those lines.

By telling them in advance that you have limited time, and giving them the reason (e.g., an appointment, a client waiting, another call you have to make, etc.), you have the excuse you need to cut the call short without making the other party feel slighted.

Do this at the start of every call. Every meeting, too. Always be in a hurry. Always have something else you need to do. Not only will this save you time, it has the added benefit of enhancing your posture and perceived value.

Successful people are busy. They have places to go and things to do. They have other clients, other appointments, and other people who want their attention. They are truly “in demand” and when clients and others perceive this about you, they will be more likely to see you as worth more than others.

That means you can charge more. It means you will be more likely to get referrals. It means you will be asked to speak at events. And it means that you will be less likely to be asked for free advice.

Being busy will increase the demand for your services and allow you to charge more for those services.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t you have something else to do?

How to earn more and work less

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