Kickin’ It Old Skool

As we strive relentlessly for efficiency, we’ve left little room for common sense at times.

I’d be embarrassed to tell you how many emails I have in my inbox right now. A bazillion doesn’t seem too far-fetched. With my job, email can often be the best mode of quick communication – but it’s also the most time consuming and overwhelming in terms of sheer volume.

But, along came smartphones and thanks to smartphones, we seem to avoid the phone (for calls) at all costs. Hey, I’m not slamming smartphones. I love mine and I love the ease of texting and email, etc. You email and text when it’s convenient for you. You also read when it’s convenient for you.

I get it.

However, email has a way at work of taking something simple and complicating it. Email and texting have even replaced leaving many voicemails. Our thumbs move at lightning speed and we have complete written conversations that now take place by the use of our phones.

We’re even reminded on pizza boxes that the phone is so 1980’s. The thought of picking up the phone has become another vintage idea.

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But, there comes a time when you NEED to pick up the phone and get to the bottom of situations. You can solve an issue in a 30 second phone call instead of the continual back and forth emails that can take hours, or even days.

It’s as simple as that.

Email has its place but we use it as a crutch and we’ve allowed it to bog us down. We don’t have time to be bogged down. We’ve allowed it to take precedence over other forms of commination when doing something “old skool” is much more productive.

Why You Should Use the Vintage Phone

You Get an Instant Response - You have to admit the irony in this. In the age where we are seeking instant gratification on just about everything, we still let email control our inefficiencies because we are at its mercy when it comes to receiving returned emails.

If you need an immediate answer, get one. Don’t wait for someone to ignore your email or answer it when they are ready. If you pick up the phone, you get an immediate answer. Problem solved. Question answered. Life moves forward. 

So, just pick up the phone…

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You Complicate an Issue with too Much Information  - If you have a lot of information to convey, you’ll have to take the time to write the long email and most people don’t want to read long emails anyway. Having too many details in an email creates confusion and it complicates the message. It’s even worse when there are multiple people involved on the email.  

So, just pick up the phone… 

When an Email Can Sound Emotional - A smiley face can’t fix everything. Written messages can often be taken the wrong way. If you write an email that has any kind of emotion in it, there’s a good chance it will be taken incorrectly. Phone calls can solve issues before they have a chance to take on a life of their own.

So, just pick up the phone…  :)

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When the News You Have isn’t that Great -Don’t be afraid to tackle the tough news directly. Emails can be the coward’s way out. Soften the situation with care. They will be able to hear the warmth in your voice. Emails can be cold. Let them hear the empathy.

So, just pick up the phone…

When Scheduling is Hard - This one is one of my personal favorites because this can be insane to keep on going in emails. You can go back and forth multiple times trying to find an available date and time for meetings.

It’s frustrating to get multiple calendar invites when it can be solved, once again, with a simple phone call.

 So, just pick up the phone… 

And, finally…. You don’t even have to pick up the phone. Sometimes you can simply get out from behind your desk and walk the five steps down the hall. You can speak face-to-face. That’s a novel idea as well!

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