Three reasons why I don’t answer my phone:
1. I’m on the move
When you pick up your phone to call me and I don’t answer, I could be in a state of motion such as hiking in the mountains, sweating on my yoga mat, walking the dogs in the neighborhood, foraging for food at the local market, driving from place to place or traveling to far away and exotic lands (I wish!).
I might pick up the phone if I recognize the number, it’s a social call and I can talk.
2. I’m working
I don’t answer the phone when I’m doing research, designing layouts, tweaking and implementing new code, writing witty words for blogs, responding to emails, engaging in constructive/creative thinking and so on.
“Why not?” you ask.
Simply because unscheduled phone calls disrupt the work flow and it diverts my focus elsewhere and I lack the ultra super powers to shift my brain back to “work” mode quickly.
Here’s a little fact I read somewhere; it takes about 25 minutes to get back to the original task after an interruption. It sounds crazy, but it’s true!
3. I’m in a different zone
Whether we’re in different time zones (I’m Pacific Standard Time) or we work at different times of the day, this makes it challenging to connect over the phone.
I DO answer the phone… but this is WHY I don’t.
Most questions have complex answers that require fact-finding…
“How much will a website cost?” I can’t answer that yet, I need much more information before I can provide you with a quote. I’ll email you a worksheet so you can share information about your business and your project to understand the scope of your project.
“My website is acting weird, can you help me?” Weird, how? Can you email me a link to your site and describe (or take a snapshot) of what it’s doing?
“I’d love to schedule a one-on-one with you, when are you free?” Sure, let’s meet. Can you email me your availability for next week and we’ll find a time that works for both of us? (Ugh! My datebook is at home on my desk!)
…or would be better in an email.
“Hi. I’m calling to confirm our appointment tomorrow, call me back and let me know if you can still make it.” Response sent via email: Hi! I’m looking forward to meeting with tomorrow at 3:15pm at your office. See you then!
“I want to set up my email accounts on my phone and computer, how do I do that?” Response sent via email: Here are the instructions to set up your email account (includes step by step instructions and snapshots of the settings).
Before you pick up the phone
Type what you would’ve said in a voice message and email it to me.
Still need to talk?
Sure! Let’s schedule a time that works for both of us. I’m available for face-to-face meetings (in and around the Los Angeles area) too.
Note: Scheduled phone calls and meetings are billed at my hourly rate (unless specified).