Waiting Room on the phone

Hold, Parking Lot, Do Later and other productivity hacks

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What you don’t do is just as important as what you do! If your personal call log is particularly long you probably have a hard time distinguishing what to do next. This hack can help.

Productivity gurus are everywhere these days and they all have their special words for the concepts they promote. We are big fans of the seminal work by David Allen called Getting Things Done (sometimes referred to as #GTD), but GTD is really focused on individual productivity. We also love the Entrepreneurial Operating System (#EOS) which was developed by Gino Wickman and shared with the world through his book, Traction. Both of these systems stress the importance of compartmentalizing so that you are focusing your attention on what is most Urgent and Important. CallPlease can help!

Shared Call Logs to the Rescue!

Shared Call Log set-up
The Stack is an EOS term for things that aren’t on the current To Do list. This menu is for setting up a new Shared Call Log – only available to Company Admins

Many of the CallPlease Power Users have adopted the use of Shared Call Logs as a way of creating a place to keep things that aren’t Urgent and Important but that you don’t want to loose track of.

You can have as many Shared Call Logs as you want in your account – they are free. You must be a Company Administrator to create a Shared Call Log but anyone can be a member. For those of you who have only ever had one log, you will find the other logs you have access to (like Shared Call Logs) in the blue sidebar on the left side of the web app that slides out when you click on the hamburger icon in the upper left corner of the screen.

There are two types of Shared Call Logs. Interactive Logs are great for working out of on a project and are set-up with the same kind of default Call Actions that an Executive Log has. Queue logs are simpler and are meant as holding list for things that members can transfer to their active work list.

The Parking Lot Process

A Shared Queue Log is intended for storing things out of the way or for members to pick from – so the Actions are pretty simple

There many different approaches, but it goes something like this:

  1. Review your active calls and tasks as you prepare for the week. You know roughly how many things you have time for this week so you work down the list to determine which are the most Urgent and Important.
  2. Anything that doesn’t make the cut gets Transferred (using the Transfer Call action) to the The Stack/The Parking Lot/On Hold or whatever you choose to call your Not Now list.
  3. Next week you review the Not Now list to see what things on there have become Urgent and Important or just need to be dealt with. Assign those (using the Assign Call action) to your or somebody else’s active log.
  4. Then start back at #1. Rinse and Repeat.

The Queue Log is built to allow many members so you can also use it as a place to put all the work that needs to be assigned for the day and then Assign each one during your morning meeting with the team.

If your discipline around reviewing your lists is less than stellar, you can also assign an Action that reminds you of things on your Not Now list. Some users have created a Call Action called something like Reconsider this that requires that you pick a future date for the call or task to be reconsidered. You will get an alarm at that time as well as some reminders until you give it a thought and assign another action.

An example of a Call Log sidebar with different types of logs that the user has access to.

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