- Jen Glantz is an entrepreneur and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire.
- In January, she started scheduling business calls only two days per a week.
- Glantz says taking calls on set days has helped improve her productivity and overall focus.
At the end of 2021, I took inventory on my year as an entrepreneur. One of the biggest things I noticed was that my days were overrun with phone calls and meetings.
On an average day, I had an average of three to five calls, each an hour long. I also spent between 20 to 30 minutes planning for each of the calls. After analyzing my schedule, it was clear that the hours I had left to actually do work were far less than the time I spent taking phone calls.
Letting phone calls take over my calendar was part of the reason I didn’t hit some of my 2021 goals, like scaling and launching new products. To fix this, I decided to restrict my business calls to only one or two days a week. I set up five-hour time blocks on those days using a calendar booking service called Acuity, and now when people ask for a phone call, I send them the calendar link and let them pick a time.
After sticking to this schedule for more than a month, here are the biggest benefits I’ve noticed.
1. I’m more focused throughout my day
One of the biggest frustrations of having calls scattered throughout the day is that you’re constantly stopping and starting other tasks. Whether I was working on business strategy or responding to an important email, I found that I couldn’t focus on getting anything done because I’d have to pause to take a midday phone call. Now that my calls only happen one to two days a week, I can complete bigger tasks on the other days without distractions.
To use my time wisely, I plan out the phone call days by allotting three one-hour phone call blocks and three 30-minute phone call blocks. That way, I’m limiting the amount of hour-long calls I have in a day. I also schedule in 15- to 30-minute breaks in between calls to take care of emails or work on administrative tasks.
2. I’ve regained control of my schedule
When I was taking calls on any day of the week, I was letting other people take over my schedule and my life. If I had a busy Thursday but somebody wanted to chat, I’d say yes and adjust my workload to find the time, which meant I was pushing aside my own tasks in favor of what someone else needed.
Now, when someone wants to speak to me, I send them a link to my calendar with pre-set dates and times. If they can’t find a time that works for them that week, they can look at the next week.
I always used to worry that if I said no to a call on a date that someone suggested, I’d miss a great opportunity. But with this new routine, I’ve realized that most conversations are not too urgent and can wait, and it helps me set clear for my time and my work boundaries.
3. I get more done each day
After working for myself for seven years, I’ve realized that I function better when I focus on only a few tasks a day, rather than a new task every hour.
That’s why now I “theme” my days: Tuesday and Thursday are for calls, Monday is for operations (emails, website updates, customer service requests, and more), Wednesday is for content creation (for social media, my website, and email marketing), and Friday is for planning (business strategy, product exploration, and idea development).
Knowing the theme of the day and keeping calls separate from deep work has helped me be more focused and productive throughout the whole week.
Above all else, taking phone calls just one to two days a week has helped me reduce the sense of burnout I had after spending most of the pandemic staring into my computer camera on video calls. It’s been a game changer for me so far.