Everyone wants to be more productive, whether you’re in sales, recruiting or any other field. Even an hour back in your day is a breath of fresh air. A boost in productivity can come from anywhere, and stopping our bad communication habits is the low-hanging fruit. Check out these insider tips to become more productive.


Email is the most abused communication method. It’s an epidemic at every organization. Be more productive by only using email to request an action. Do not CC people unless you want them to take action as well. Email should not be used to keep someone up to speed or as a way to say hello. If everyone in your organization used email this way, you’ll have fewer emails, giving you hours back in your day.


Instant message is for immediate action only. It’s not a place to chat or try to start a conversation. The more you use it, the more distracted you’ll get as little messages pop up and interrupt your work. While it’s a great attention grabber, it’s also a big distracter, which is why it should only be used to grab someone for immediate action.


Internal social networks like Chatter or Yammer are great for collaborating and sharing, not for action. The posts on Chatter remain there publicly for the long term, which makes it a great place for posting evergreen content or information that will be helpful in the long term. Don’t use it to ask for help or request feedback.

Office Phone Call

A phone call to the office may not get returned quickly, if at all. These days, this is not a great way to get someone’s attention. However, it is a good avenue for a formal conversation, especially if you’ve never spoken to the person before. Use it if you need to talk something through, but cannot do so in person.

Cell Phone Call

If you want a guaranteed call back, call someone’s cell. This should only be used for important conversations that need to happen quickly. While you should be respectful of your contacts’ cell phone, it is valuable and should be the top piece of contact data. With cell phones being such an effective way to get in touich, why aren’t you capturing the mobile number? Start doing it today.

Text Message

This is a perfect tool for immediate action and interruption. Similar to IM but accessible anywhere at any time, a text message is sure to get the person’s attention as well as a quick response. Like cell phone calls, make sure your contact is comfortable with texting (as there are sometimes added fees). Again, like IMs, they can be a distraction. They may also be hard to dicipher. Therefore, do not use texting to have a general conversation, but to focus on an action and get attention.

Social Post

Social media is a brand building exercise. It’s a great way to share information, insights, and ideas. It will help you build your network. This is not a way to get someone’s attention. It’s not a direct outlet. Leaning on DMs or Facebook messages is not as direct and reliable as a text message or IM.

Making these small changes to how you use your communication methods will save you time and effort, guaranteed. If you have other ways to save time, feel free to share it in the comments below. I’m always looking to adopt new ideas and approaches.

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