Isn’t that the way it works? You know what I mean: You’re killing it! Your energy level is high, checkmarks abound on your to do list, and high fives are happening all around…and then that afternoon sluggishness sets in, exactly at the same time you are scheduled for a conference call.

Or the opposite happens, you are wide awake but totally disengaged during a conference call. How do you get through these “voice-only meetings” without giving away your mood?

Or maybe you’re just fine, you are alert, ready for the call, and engaged in the conversation (when you can hear it), because someone forgot to mute their phone and their background noise is louder than a jet taking off. Or someone forgot they were muted and might as well not be on the call.

Why yes, I did spend 30 minutes on Pinterest while joining my last conference call.

No matter how carefully we plan, conference calls never seem to deliver the impact a face-to-face meeting can. We are too distracted, too disparate physically.

How can we change this? Today I stumbled upon an article by Alex Cavoulacos, the President & Founder of The Muse: The 27 Unwritten Rules of Conference Calls. I recommend you click on that link and read through it! It could change your life. And as Alex says:

Here’s to more productive (and less annoying) calls forevermore!

And in life, just as on conference calls, there are rules to follow. Planning, etiquette, ethics, organization, respect, environment, and follow through apply in our every day activities, just as they apply when on the phone. There’s a time to talk and there’s a time to listen.

And the last tip for today: You can’t tune out the world completely, you must live in the present to be effective, just as on a conference call you should “Use the mute button strategically. If you are muted for 90% of the call, you likely aren’t fully paying attention.”

So pay attention and carry on, but use that mute button if you need to!