(tldr: It’s not personal. I am protecting my time and energy)

Every week, I am called out of the blue or I am asked to schedule meetings. While I would love to speak with all of you, it is simply not possible given the number of requests that come in. Inspired by Jurgen Appelo (a friend, former-colleague, and mentor) and Cal Newport (author of Deep Work and A World Without Email), I’ve put together some guidelines to help explain why I won’t get on a call with you.

I don’t take unscheduled calls/meetings. 

I almost never answer my phone. My weeks are carefully planned to create enough time for deep work. I do this to protect my time and manage my energy levels. In order to do my work (creating content, thinking, etc), I need long stretches of time to think and focus. Unscheduled calls are interruptions for me.

In addition, I like to document my conversations. I speak with 100’s of people a year and it’s difficult for me to remember conversation details. Email messages help me to remember what we discussed.

I don’t have any meetings without knowing what the purpose/objective is.

I’m surprised by how many messages start with “I’d like to meet with you to talk about something. Can we schedule a time to talk?” Again, I would love to speak to everyone, but I have to prioritize how I spend my time. Please tell me what you need when you contact me. I will do my best to help you.

I don’t schedule calls “to see how we might collaborate” or to get a product demo.

Along with giving presentations about remote work, I run a training company (Collaboration Superpowers) that helps people and teams work better together remotely through online, interactive, engaging workshops.

  • If you want to collaborate, please let me know how your collaboration fits into or benefits the Collaboration Superpowers business.
  • If you’re interested in becoming a Facilitator, join one of the upcoming virtual coffees.
  • If you would like a presentation or workshop for your company, please contact me and let me know what you are looking for.
  • If you want to demo your product, I recommend joining Virtual Team Talk, a free Slack community for anyone interested in talking about remote work. We talk about tools and best practices for working in the virtual world; we experiment with new technologies, share events, and support each others projects. I promise I will check your tool out. But I will do it asynchronously.