Monday, January 22, 2007

7 Easy Ways to Spend Less Time on the Phone

Reviewing a typical day's activities, you're shocked to discover how much time you spent on the phone. Even as you're adding up the number of calls, the phone rings again. "Here goes another twenty minutes," you mutter. Meanwhile, your desk overflows with uncompleted paper work. Fortunately, there are strategies for reducing your telephone time. Here are my 7 top ways to spend less time on the phone. I used every one of them during my twenty-three years in management, so I guarantee they will be useful for you.

1.Budget (yes, budget) your phone time. With six calls to make, allow yourself no more than thirty minutes to complete all of them. Obviously, this constraint will discipline you to get to the point, cover the point and make an exit.

2.As I have just indicated, batch your calls. Instead of scattering them throughout the day, make your calls consecutively. You'll shift into a "telephone mood," comparable to what athletes call "the zone." The second call becomes easier than the first, the third call even easier. Your efficiency escalates, and you accomplish more sooner.

3. Rely on E-mail more consistently. This is my favorite way to avoid phone tag. E-mail allows us to send messages at our most convenient time. Too, we will probably use fewer words (and time) than we would use by phone.

4. Make calls from your cell phone, if you can handle the phone safely while driving. When you tell someone, "Hi, Ted, I've got a couple of minutes to chat as I'm driving into downtown Atlanta," you're triggering them to get to the heart of the call instantly.

5. Outline what you intend to cover in the your calls. The outline keeps you from rambling, and from having to call again to cover an item you forgot to mention--embarrassing as well as time consuming. Ordinarily, I use a key word outline that resembles a grocery list. For example, in calling to get details about my next speaking engagement, my notes might include: time, duration, microphone, handouts, number attending, introducer and convention theme.

Call people just before lunch and just before closing time. I guarantee they won't be longwinded then.

7. When you have said what is important, make a summary statement and say farewell: "Barbara, it's my understanding that you have given me permission to exceed two or three budget items as long as I stay within the departmental budget. Thanks for the clarification. That's all I needed to know. Goodbye."


20 Ways to Lose Weight


1. Take it one step at a time

Start by paying attention to what you eat. Cut back on fat and sweets and add more fruit and vegetables. After you have that under control, add exercise. If you hate to exercise try it for only 15 minutes a day at first, then a 1/2-hour. Keep in mind that while you are exercising you are burning calories and not eating. Also, it will be easier if you chose an activity that you enjoy.

2. Find a friend

It is always good to have support when you are trying to lose weight. Find a friend who wants to lose weight and compare notes, weigh-in together and maybe even have a contest.

3. Use weights

Working out weights will build muscle and raise your metabolism so you will burn more calories. Also, muscle takes up less space than fat so you will be smaller ( but probably weigh more).

4. Eat fewer carbs

Don’t eat as much bread and pasta and you will see a difference.

5. Set a goal

Set a deadline to lose the weight and write it down. For example, ‘ By Dec 14/04 I will weigh 150 lbs or less’. Put it somewhere you will see it daily.

6. Give up soda

If you drink a soda or 2 a day you are adding empty calories. If you find it hard to stop
completely, cut back at first and drink water instead.

7. Grill or boil

Avoid fried meat, grill and use lots of spices. You will get used to it and probably enjoy it more.

8. Don’t buy junk food

When you go shopping, don’t go on an empty stomach and you will be less likely to buy junk food. Keep your home ‘junk food free’ so you won’t be tempted to indulge.

9. Eat breakfast

Consume most of your calories early in the day and always eat breakfast. Don’t eat after 8pm and
not only will you avoid those added calories but you will sleep better.

10. Give yourself a treat

When you tell yourself that you can’t have something you want it more. Give yourself a treat once a day ( ie. half a cookie) and you won’t feel you are missing out.

11. Use smaller plates

Trick yourself into believing that you are eating more by using a smaller plate.

12. Drink lots of water

Drink water when you are feeling hungry and you will get that ‘full’ feeling.

13. Don’t eat everything on your plate

Many times we eat just because it’s there. Pay attention to when you have had enough.

14. Eat five or six meals a day

Eating more frequently will keep you from getting too hungry.

15. Plan your workout sessions

Write your workout sessions in your journal or planner.

16. Stay away from fad diets

Fad diets don’t work. If you lose weight fast chances are that you will gain it back ( and more)
just as fast. It takes time to put it on and time to take it off.

17. Do several workouts a day

While you are watching TV do crunches and leg lifts.

18. Measure your food

If you decide to have junk food for a snack - be sure to measure and control what you eat.

19. Keep pre-cut vegetables

…and ward off those cravings.

20. Create Good Habits

It is a known fact that when we do something twenty-one times it becomes a habit. Create good eating habits.