When it comes to efficiency and getting things done readily, unscheduled calls, SMS, and chat are the worst.
Have you ever been on a roll only to have your train of thought interrupted by something? It took so long to start that roll.
Our brains were not designed for multitasking, and constant interruptions tire them out. Phone calls, chats, and texts are all examples of instant-gratification communication. We feel compelled to reply right away. And frequently, the answer can wait. It’s unrealistic. The expectations of these forms are interesting because neither party is always available. So why do we constantly expect others to be immediately available?
What do I recommend in its place? I’m not saying you shouldn’t use these forms. However, I advise using them in addition to time management for each party. Schedule a phone call if you will need both parties to be present physically and mentally. I believe that for text and chat, I lean more toward email or establishing boundaries for those types of messages. Even though it’s different when you’re talking to friends or family, there is definitely a stigma attached to needing a quick answer at work.
Don’t get me wrong; I prefer chatting with larger companies, but those are staffed full-time, around-the-clock, so nobody is interrupted. Sometimes, when emails are missed, I’ll use texts instead. But it’s hard to keep track of the topics and stay on topic when using those communication methods.
Overall, if you want to get things done efficiently, it’s usually best to plan some of these instant communications ahead of time.