Here is a great post from the Web Publishing Blog I don’t know if you need to go to this extreme, but it is interesting.
Of the nearly 500 auctioneers that we work with there are only a selected few that have my cel phone number. And of them, even a smaller number have my programmers phone number. These particular auctioneers give me great feedback, and they will only phone me after hours when it is for a serious problem. For that they get my trust.
Be sure to setup a junk/spam email address to use online. Grab a Hotmail / Google / Yahoo email account or setup a email@example.com email address. It will only take your host 2 minutes to setup, so don’t let them overcharge you.
I never got around to applying The Four Hour Work Week, but I have followed a few lessons from the book. Most specifically, eliminating distractions and “Become(ing) and Ignoramus.” (page 92)
For a moment lets just forget blog RSS feeds, forums, and CNBC — instead consider your daily personal contacts and work interruptions.
Step 1 — Create an “personal” e-mail address. Its brand new and no one even knows what it is.
Step 2 — Get a new “personal” phone line / number. Again, its brand new and no one knows it yet.
Step 3 — You have two options, either have an employee become your intermediary to filter out the garbage, or give out this personal contact information to only your most important contacts.
For example, a company that you do 5/6/7 figures of business with a month may qualify as high priority. A company that you used in the past does not. This also means from time to time you may need to create a new “personal” contact system.
Have two sets of business cards. If you go to a conference, give one to the people trying to sell you something. Give a second to the important people you need to contact. If you have met me, you know I do not even give out any business cards. I’ll take yours, and contact you on my own time.
Because my company is very tiny (in employee size) I do not have anyone filter my contact information for me. I am sure there are many people who are pissed that I answered their voice mail 2 months after they left it. Thats ok, because if I spent my time reading through every personal correspondence, there wouldn’t be much business left.
Ironically you will notice I have a personal contact email on this blog (as of the time I write this.) Your contact structure does not have to be limited to two tiers. It can be very beneficial to make it multi-channeled. As the business owner, if might be ok for your press contacts to have direct contact information. Or perhaps there is a more “casual” contact point that you can access after work that you know will never contain urgent news to break you away from family time.
Consider these ideas and build yourself a custom solution, if you haven’t already. As always, these aren’t rules; test things out and figure out what works for you.