categories: time management
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August 29th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

22 comments (+ Add)

Unusual Time Saving Tips (5 of 5)

Don’t Take Incoming Calls

On very busy days, you might choose not to immediately receive incoming calls.

When I’m crunched for time, I’ll give my cell phone to my assistant, Sarah. She’ll screen calls for me all day. Generally she can find out what a person needs. When I come out of the office, she might ask me a few quick questions and she can respond to my calls for me.

Instead of handling calls as they come in, you can return them all at once. I like to return calls when I’m traveling in the car making that time more productive.

What suggestions do you have on this subject?

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there are a total of22
  1. Aug 29, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Craig, you have a chauffeur? ;-)

  2. 2Barry Armstrong
    Aug 29, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Craig, I “redeem” the time I have using public transportation by using it to check and write email, listen to new music for possible use in our church, read a good book, or organize files on my laptop.

  3. Aug 29, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Returning calls while driving! I can’t believe you’d do something so irresponsible. ;0

  4. Aug 29, 2008 at 8:35 am

    That’s a great idea (I’ll admit that I text and drive at the same time a little). All these suggestions have been interesting if not great. But for the hardest part is just changing my habits. I am currently trying to make myself more productive simply by actually keeping office hours. Rather than just this nebulous Monday through Friday from whenever to whenever I am posting my actual office hours and my wife is holding me to it. It forces me to concentrate and stay on task so when it is time to go home I go home.

    Thanks for sharing these.

  5. Aug 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    How do you balance your time with a growing church and a bunch of kids?

  6. Aug 29, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    One of the things that helped me is to turn off my phone when I’m home. When people call and get my voicemail immediately they know that my phone is off. If it’s urgent and can’t wait, they’ll call me at home. If it’s not important they’re much less likely to call me at home.

  7. Aug 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    You saved the best for last. Great tip Craig!
    So you are the guy in the fast lane trying to do 3 things at once!

    Enjoy the big weekend!

  8. Aug 29, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    This is so basic but I prefer to return my phone calls in a block of time vs. as they come in during my office time. Also if I return the call I can bring closure when the caller has what they need.

  9. Aug 29, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    One more thing that has been saving me tons of time. I love reading your blog and others but I have been cutting way back. I am all about growing and learning from others but it is too easy to link from blog to blog when before I know it an hour has passed by. Now if I really want to read I put in one half hour a week for fun.

  10. Aug 29, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I just bought your new book. I LOVE IT! Thanks for being real.

  11. Aug 30, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I started using my car as a mobile office, doing my calls then… and felt like I’d just invented sliced bread. Never mind that I shouldn’t be doing it… Dang.

  12. Aug 30, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Craig, do you also read the newspaper while driving?

    J/K, but here in Japan it is illegal to use your cell on the road. I think with good reason too. I agree on the time savings, but with the attention it takes off the road, it’s not worth it.

  13. 14Rose Steiner
    Aug 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    It is not illegal to use the cell on the road here yet, but hey, let’s be responsible, right? I am a road warrior (on the road more than at home, I think!). I use a blue tooth headset, and voice dial. Don’t touch a thing, and get a TON done for my work. Then when I do get home, I am a free lady to just be me!

  14. Aug 31, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I have certain days when I answer calls in the office or on my cell, usually extremely administrative days, my ‘design days’ I shut everything down so I can produce… but I use the same strategy of calling people back while in the car… I do it so much I even know the exact spot my cell will drop the call on the way home! LOL!

  15. Aug 31, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I usually will answer calls in the office or on my cell as they come on certain days… usually days that are interuptive with a lot of meetings, then there are more creative ‘design days’ that I shut it all down so I can produce, I usually don’t answer any calls except from my wife or my pastor, who may have something he needs from me asap. I employ the same strategy of calling people back on my way home too… I do it so much I know the exact spot when the call is going to drop!

  16. Sep 1, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Pastor Craig. I just wanted to say thank you for your message on IT this weekend at lifechurch. It’s a long storyand maybe I’ll have a chance to tell you one day, but that message was very meaningful and personal to my wife and I. Thank you for obeying God and making the necessary sacrifices to fulfill God’s purpose. (even if it’s on accident) We are very thankful to have you as a Pastor.

  17. Sep 1, 2008 at 10:03 am

    These are great! I love saving time and these are really helpful. I’m always trying to figure out the fastest route to and from restaurants!

  18. Sep 1, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I like the idea of handing off your phone, but I would take it even further. It is a good idea to set aside a certain time of day for COMMUNICATION, not just calls. Take calls, handle email, faxes then put those things away and simply concentrate on productivity. In fact, you can even tell people what time of day this is for you, so if they want to speak to you directly they know when to call.

  19. Sep 1, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Craig, You are hardcore bro. Handing off your cell phone? Wow. You must get a lot of calls. Great tip… and I also return calls on the road - very productive.

  20. Sep 2, 2008 at 12:43 am

    its illegal to talk while driving in Australia

  21. Sep 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    to elaborate on Russell’s point - assess how much time you spend daily and weekly on such optional tasks as blogging, blog surfing, twittering, social networking and the like - now create a “techno-budget.” only allow yourself a specific amount of time per day and week for each task and schedule it in where possible. when the minutes are gone, so are your techno-hobbies.

    it is amazing how many blog and twitteraddicts have viewed and commented on this post. 21 people times two hours blooging, blog surfing and twittering per day (that’s conservative) yields 42 man hours daily spent.

    is that for waste or for profit? you will have to answer that!