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Effective time management is an indispensable skill. In Time Management Fundamentals, Dave Crenshaw explains how to sensibly allocate time in order to achieve greater productivity. Dave details a set of principles for staying organized, consolidating the workspace, keeping a clear mind, and developing a time budget. Also covered are techniques for managing a full inbox, processing email, and reserving time for the most important activities. Exercise files accompany the course.
How many voicemail accounts do you have? No matter how many voicemail accounts that you have, your goal should be to get to where you only need to check one place for all voicemail. The simplest way to do this is to set up call forwarding on one of your phone lines. For instance, if you have a work voicemail and a cell phone voicemail, set either your work phone to forward to your cell phone if the call isn't answered, or set your cell phone to forward to your work phone number if the call isn't answer.
In this way only one voicemail account will be used, and you only have to check one of those voicemails. Another option--and this works for some people--is to delegate the responsibility of checking the voicemail. For instance, if one of your voicemail accounts is a home voicemail, but your spouse does most of the checking right now, see if you can delegate the responsibility for checking all of the voicemail to your spouse. Or perhaps if you have an assistant, you could have them check your voicemail for you.
These examples may not apply in your particular situation, but this as an option for some. Another option is to eliminate the need for voicemail completely. How do we do that? Well, some office phone systems are now advanced enough so that when someone leaves a voicemail it forwards the voicemail as an audio attachment in an email. This actually eliminates a gathering point, because even though you can check your voicemail through that system, you don't need to. It's now pushed all of your voicemail into the email gathering point, eliminating the need to even check voicemail as a separate gathering point.
There are also several systems available now that can replace your cell phone voicemail and will also forward the audio file, or even a transcription of the call, to your email account. For just two examples, Google Voice provides this functionality of recording voicemails as attachments and sending them to your email account. YouMail is a service that can replace your cell phone voicemail and create a transcription of voicemails left and send you an MP3 as well.
New services come online monthly that provide comparable features. By searching for a 'voicemail transcription' or 'voicemail to email' you can explore these options. However you decide to handle your voicemail, it's important for you to get down to one, or even zero, voicemail accounts. Doing this will increase your efficiency by reducing the number of switches that take place in your day of going back and forth between multiple voicemail accounts.
Right now, please write down all of the voicemail accounts that you're currently using and decide how you're going to consolidate them into one, or no, voicemail accounts.
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