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Call for ideas from CubicleLand

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  • Call for ideas from CubicleLand

    This has probably been talked about before, but I need help. I am having trouble combining personal and professional in a cubicle setting.

    This sounds goofy, but its been bugging me. I know that the most efficient way to get through my calls list is when I am in my office phone in hand, but I am concerned that some of my personal calls overheard by fellow employees will sound like slacking on the job.

    Does anyone have any advice/hacks for me with this? Thanks!


  • #2
    Use a conference room

    If I need to make a quick personal call on company time, I walk over to a conference room with a door and make the call. I also make company calls from there since my voice tends to carry anyway. If people ask, I tell them I'm being considerate of my veal pen mates by having those phone calls behind closed doors.


    • #3
      That's not a goofy concern. I don't know about your environment, but I wouldn't feel comfortable cranking through a bunch of personal calls while on the job.

      If you can't be productive making your calls at home, try making them while driving to/from work. (See David Allen's free download on GTD in the Car). I use that time to catch up on personal calls (and other calls that don't require note-taking, etc).

      Edit: edit to comment that personal calls periodically throughout the day isn't a concern. Scheduling a washer repair, or haircut, etc. But if you have a lot of personal calls, then it might not be appropriate. And I often use a conference room as mentioned above, if the matter is private.
      Last edited by Fireproof; 11-27-2006, 09:54 AM.


      • #4
        Usually use the car...

        I usually use the car for these calls...
        My palm PDA keeps my lists nice and tidy, but often handling it while driving is cumbersome and adding in any notes that I may have to take makes it somewhat frustrating. I suppose I could take notes immediately afterwards with my phone/voice recorder...

        Yes, I have also used the conference room to attack these calls. GTD is nice because it keeps me as efficient as I can be while doing this...

        Thanks for the comments.


        • #5
          All the other suggestions that have been mentioned are great, but I would also add in lunch times and morning/afternoon breaks if you get them. Have some food in front of you and start the call by saying, "I was just on my lunch break/morning break/afternoon break and thought I'd call you to..."

          I dont' think that most employers mind if you occassionally make a personal call during regular hours--your boss probably does it too, but he or she probably has a door they can close. Your boss realizes that some other companies are only open during the hours that your compan is open. By using what would normally be your "personal" time during the day anyway, you can probably get by with this.

          Good luck!


          • #6
            In addition to great comments here: Just because you have a list of personal calls you can crank through at work, doesn't mean you have to crank through them. You can make one call at a time.

            The lists are bookmarks, after all.


            • #7

              Rick- yes I realize that using company time this way isnt the most accepted/ethical... I honestly try not to... thanks for the reminder.

              Brent- Good comment. Yes, the subtlety of calming yourself and making one call at a time- being with "that call" is at the essence of GTD. I was missing that aspect as I worked on just CRANKING.... the list is a focusing tool and not something that HAS to get done as quickly as possible. This "cranking" mentality can also hurt the quality of the call... Thanks for the reminder!


              • #8
                Yeah. Personally, I like being able to leap like a gazelle from project to project, making a little significant progress on each one every day.