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New Interchange

Do you think
you spend
too much time
on the phone?


Your phone rings. It's a friend who wants to tell you about his or her latest health problem. You hate to be rude and cut your friend off, but what can you do?

Time management consultant Stephanie Winston, author of Stephanie Winston's Best Organizing Tips, offers you these seven tips:


1.  Don't ask questions like "What's new?"

This sort of questions give the impression that you have time to chat. After "hello", get right to the heart of the matter.

2.  Time your calls intelligently.

If you make a call right before lunch or dinner, or at the end of the workday, people chat less.

3.  Set a time limit.

Start with, "Hi, I've only got a few minutes, but I wanted to talk to you about...", or "Gee, I'd love to talk more, but I only have a couple of minutes before I have to run errands."

4.  Jump on a pause.

Even the most talkative caller has to pause now and then. Quickly say, "It has been great talking with you." Then end the conversation as soon as possible.

5.  Forget niceties.

Some people just don't take a hint. Interrupt your caller and say, "I'd like to talk to you longer, but I'm pressed for time. Good-bye." Then hang up. It might seem rude but don't ask for permission to end the conversation because you will be lost.

6.  Find a "partner in crime".

If nothing else works, ask someone in your home or at work to help you. For example, one woman signals her husband, who yells, "Jane, I think the roast is burning!", or "Paul, your boss is asking for you!". At home, you can also try ringing the bell if you have a bell button near you.

7.  Avoid the phone completely.

Use an answering machine to screen calls. If you have an important message for a chatterbox, leave the message when he or she isn't in.

Source: New Interchange
We thank subscriber
Stella Maris Cutro (Argentina) for her contribution


to cut someone off: to stop a phone conversation
(terminar bruscamente, "cortar" una llamada)
to chat: to have an informal conversation (charlar)
get right to the heart of the matter: get to the point 
(ir al grano)
to run errands: carry on short trips to perform any domestic task (hacer mandados o diligencias)
to jump: to pass abruptly to another topic (cambiar de tema
talkative: chatterer (conversador)
to pause: to stop (detenerse)

: refinement (refinamientos)

to take a hint: to understand an indirect suggestion (captar una insinuación o indirecta)
pressed for time
: with no time available (apurado)
to hang up: to interrupt a phone conversation by putting a telephone receiver back in its cradle (cortar)
partner in crime: someone who assists in a plot (cómplice)
burning: cooked too long (exceso de cocción, "quemado")
to screen: to test, to examine (controlar, monitorear)
chatterbox: a chatterer, a very talkative person (charlatán, muy conversador)
isn't in: is not at home or at work (no se encuentra)