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I have a bad habit of leaving long phone messages. I’m not sure why. I make the phone call, the person’s voicemail picks up, and then I ramble on and on. The tough thing is, most of the people in my life hate receiving long phone messages. And if I’m honest, I don’t like receiving long phone messages either. It feels like a waste of time, because I almost always have to call the person back anyways. We usually repeat what was talked about on the voicemail as we get up to speed with our conversation.

Changing a Habit

Recently I have been trying to leave short phone messages. It hasn’t been easy. Changing any habit is difficult, even a simple one. The fact is, if you don’t think about doing something differently each time, you will do what you have always done. It takes time and effort to change a habit.

How to Leave Short Phone Messages

Here are two tips that have helped me leave short phone messages:

  1. If possible, simply leave your name and phone number and ask for a call back… and that’s it. The ultimate goal of a phone call is to get the person on the phone. So, why not just leave your name and number and ask the person to call you back? Stick to the main goal of the phone call, and leave out all the extra stuff.
  2. If you have to leave content in your phone message, make a plan before calling. When leaving messages, I have a tendency to ramble on and on. The main reason for the rambling is I haven’t planned out what I want to say. I’m figuring it out as I leave the message. Instead, now I try to spend 30 seconds before making the phone call to outline what I want to communicate. I come up with one or two bullet points for the things I want to say. Then when I leave the message, I stick to the main points and that’s it.

Discussion

Do you tend to leave short or long phone messages? Do you like receiving short or long phone messages? Try the two tips for leaving short phone messages and see if your “phone life” becomes more efficient.

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