How To Buy Yourself Time Square

011: 5 Smart Ways to Buy Yourself Some Time

On this solo episode of Everything Speaks host Lee Caraher talks about how to buy yourself some time when talking or emailing people so you can really consider your response, so that your answer is as complete and useful as possible.

In today’s instant-world, we either feel the pressure to answer immediately or are actually pressured to make an instant call on issues ranging from the mundane to the critical. But our brains need time to think. It’s very seldom that someone actually needs an immediate response

The more time you build in to making a good answer, the more credibility you have, the more gravitas you have the more respect you command. At the same time, not everything needs pondering. Moving with a sense of urgency without rushing is the mark of a professional who can prioritize; these people are listened to more than others that rush to respond without thinking about the full implications of the question.

Key Lessons Learned

  • In person, ask the person to “tell you more” when you need to do some more thinking
  • On email, respond to emails where you are in the “To” line quickly with “I’ve got your email, and I’m going to get back to you within 48 hours. If you need an earlier response, please let me know and I’ll do my best to move some things around.”
  • Set a deadline to respond in the future that provides you flexibility, and then beat it.
  • In IM/Text – you’re getting interrupted all the time, and you can’t respond – turn off your notifications and/or text back with “busy”
  • Don’t do someone else’s work. If you get a request for work that isn’t your responsibility, reply with “Thanks. I’ve added Sally to this email stream as this is in her court. Happy to help if you need it later.”
  • Schedule time to respond to emails. We do better when we’re doing the same type of work in a defined window of time. Block off an hour after lunch to work through the emails that you need to respond to.

Other resources.

Lee blogged about this here.

Read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to learn about how to prioritize