We all have those phone calls we procrastinate: it might be the doctor’s appointment your spouse suggested you make; or the 10 prospective client calls to make this week, your usual measurement of success; or it might be a call to a vendor who did something inconceivable. How do you get yourself in gear to make these calls? Here are a few suggestions which do not include “just do it.” I hope you will find them creative, fun (well, not), but practical and useful.
Develop a System – Unemotional and Practical
Use an excel sheet or a CRM system so the call is there and it’s something you do.Keep it simple. Take away the emotion. You might track how many calls you’re making, how long they take, what your countdown is (number of calls left to make) or some other way to make it more than just about making the calls.
Take a Tiny, Tiny Step
Tiny, tiny means: Look up the phone number. Don’t make the call; just get the number.
Enlist another person
Someone else can either make calls for you, or give you your list for the week, or check in with you to see how you are doing. Or at a different level, consult on how to make those phone calls. What to say. Sort of an accountability partner.
Not “Phone Calls,” but What Type?
Not all calls are alike. It might be that there’s one in the group which is making you procrastinate on all the rest. Pick off an easy one from the list. Make that one first and get some momentum going. It’s like a muscle, these phone calls; don’t tackle the most difficult first because you probably won’t be ready in your head for it. You may find that your energy and time of day matters to which type of call you can make best at the beginning, middle or end of the day.
One at a Time or Group the Phone Calls?
Try both. Are you better off making one call at a time: ‘First thing tomorrow, I AM going to make this call.”
Or you might find it is easier to get into the mindset and a rhythm of making calls if you make a group of them together; so block that time on your calendar.
Set a Time Deadline: Squeeze it in
If you’ve been procrastinating but you know you really need to make the call, you can set a timer, for about 15 minutes before you head out for a meeting, lunch or the day. Promise yourself that you’ll make the call in t hose 15 minutes. There is something about pressure and a deadline that works well.
Or take the phone call and make it as you’re waiting for another appointment. Again, limited time.
Practice the Phone Call, if it’s a Tough One
If you have to make a call with bad news or you need to negotiate, take your time. Suggestions: Write it out first, or record yourself. Let it sit and then practice it enough that you feel comfortable. In front of the mirror if that helps. Go into a different office if that would help. Get support from your team members or mentor before making the call.
If you need some support around this, coaching or consulting, this is a common issue among professionals I work with. (We all have our days!). Please call if you want to do better than you are and know you can. ADHD or not.
603 765 9267 text/cell