Set up a separate, clear phone area where you can handle calls without the distraction of other work. When you don’t have to shuffle through other tasks and projects, you can really focus on each call. Your area should have enough writing surface and be close to files and other telephone information you may need.
Whenever possible, set up telephone appointments. Prioritize and consolidate all callbacks. Prepare for each outgoing call or telephone appointment by having all the necessary material in front of you and writing down in advance any key questions or areas to cover as well as a projected time limit for each call.
Planning the time you call can be critical in preventing telephone tag. The busiest time for business calls is usually Monday morning, between 9:00 and 11:00 am. Sometimes calling before 9:00 am or after 5:00 pm is a good time to catch those hard-to-reach people.