Yes, I have a phone policy.
When I went to school, my history teacher once caught me checking my phone during class. He asked me what all slaves throughout history had in common.
“That someone owned them,” I suggested.
“That they were always available,” he said.
I’ve since grown to appreciate his point.
When it comes to media channels, we all have our favourites. For me, my phone has never been one of them.
I wrote a phone policy to keep the channel in check (and stay free from slavery).
Phone Policy: Do Not Answer When
These are the situations when I’m not going to answer my phone:
Phone Policy: Do Answer When
These are the situations when I will answer the phone:
Phone Policy: Reply To Text Messages
Luckily, my boss says that being available for unscheduled phone calls is not part of my job description. 1My boss? That would be me.
Is there a potential crisis?
Send me a text message:
“Jerry. Code red. Can you make yourself available for a quick call?”
If you’re my client and send me a text like that, I’ll be in DEFCON 1.
Still, I’ve gotten the occasional snarky remark due to this phone policy:
“Jerry. I called you but didn’t answer, so I took my business elsewhere.”
Not a problem.
We shouldn’t work together if someone thinks my expertise is easily replaced. There’s no relationship, no foundation.
It’s a presumptive problem that sorts itself out, one could say.
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PR Resource: Pavlov’s Inbox
Pavlov’s Inbox is an email system built around the idea that your inbox problems cannot be solved by more efficiently processing email (e.g. Inbox Zero and similar systems). Such systems will only reward unfavourable sender behaviours.
Pavlov’s Inbox system assumes that you can influence the behaviours of those sending you emails — through conditioning.
Pavlov’s Inbox system is based on psychological ideas on how to reward and punish email behaviours in a socially viable manner (being rude as “punishment” might only be detrimental to your professional reputation).
The operating principle of Pavlov’s Inbox is to a) reward favourable types of emails by minimising the amount of work required by the sender and b) punish unfavourable emails by maximising the amount of work required by the sender.
Read more: Pavlov’s Inbox: The Psychological Way to Tame Your Email
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|1||My boss? That would be me.|