A client recently asked me – “why do people leave me voice messages so late in the day? What could they possibly want from me at 6pm?”

My reply? Quite simple. “People don’t always want ANYTHING from you!”

What they often want is to tick another item off their own to-do list. Their message may sound urgent but its often their wanting to get it off their list that’s urgent!

Every single professional I know has a mountain of work to do. Studies show that we have 59 hours worth of work on our desks at any one time.

So that voice message is simply passing responsibility for the next action step on to you. You are the recipient of the proverbial hot potato.

What often happens, though, is that you choose to do something with that hot potato as soon as it is passed to you, at 6pm or even later!

And immediate action is not always necessary. It’s often okay to let the potato cool down a bit!

Action – Next time someone passes something to you in this way, stop to consider its true urgency. And if it can wait, which it often can, leave it. Do something with it tomorrow.

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