“Let’s take a call”
Reading these words in my inbox brings shivers down my spine.
I know what’s in store; we’ll go back and forth trying to figure out dates and times that work for us both to schedule a call.
We’ll finally get the call scheduled into our calendars, only for one of us to receive a “sorry, I’m unable to make the call today, can we reschedule?” email a few hours before the call is due to start.
We then go back and forth to reschedule.
Most of the time this isn’t a problem. But sometimes we’ve canceled dinner plans with family. Sometimes we have skipped going to the gym to make the call. This is especially true if we are located in different time zones.
When we do make the call, we introduce ourselves and more often than not will recap what we have already communicated via email. We then say our goodbyes.
I understand some calls are necessary, but in most situations, they’re not.
As Chris Sacca shares:
Phones are very yesterday and voice mail is so broken. Until someone can make it easy for us to extract a number from a voice mail, file the message away for later, label it, quickly find it again, search through it, forward it, reply asynchronously, etc etc, we are going to stick to email.
I 100% agree with Chris. While email is sometimes a pain in the butt to manage, it far outweighs the effectiveness of organizing, rescheduling and taking a call.
Most of us work to create products users love, and that in turn provides us time to spend on other aspects of life we love; family, friends, hobbies etc.
When we spend more time than necessary scheduling and rescheduling calls that could be handled via a more effective communication method (Email!), we ultimately end out missing out on what we work so hard for.
From today, unless it’s really important and necessary, I’m going to decline call requests. Instead, let’s stick to email — where we can keep a record of communication, can respond when it’s convenient for us both and more importantly, keep the conversation flowing.
It’s been almost three years since I wrote this and I’ve been less stressed, and way more productive.
I was originally worried people would take offense, and/or take it personally, but this hasn’t been the case. After explaining it’s nothing personal and sending them a link to this post, most respond with a thumbs up and tell me they wished they could get away with doing the same.