It’s 2018 and there are a lot of ways to get in touch with someone. There’s WhatsApp to send quick text messages, photos and voice notes. Or Telegram if you don’t want Facebook to read everything.
On Twitter you can reach out quickly to everyone with a short message that forces you to get to the point.
Email exists for almost 50 years, survived everything and is still alive and kicking to send longer messages with or without attachments.
And there are phone calls. But phone calls are a huge distraction.
When I’m doing an activity I want to focus on it. Whether it’s working, reading books, hanging out with friends or exercising in the gym.
The problem with incoming phone calls is that they are unilateral. The caller wants to know something and decides to reach out to you assuming you have time on that given moment.
But it’s actually always distracting from what I’m doing. That’s why I prefer a message on WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter or email. So I can respond when it suits me. This also gives me the opportunity to think about the answer.
Last month I did a small test. I monitored how many people were calling me, excluding planned calls of course. And if they were, I sent them to my voicemail.
My new voicemail is HAL 9000 from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey asking you to leave me a message on WhatsApp or email:
I received only two unplanned phone calls, meaning I already did a great job in limiting unplanned incoming phone calls. Both persons sent me a WhatsApp after hearing my voicemail and the conversation went on there. Problem solved. I used the Online Tone Generator to create this voicemail by the way.
When I’m traveling I remove my SIM from my iPhone to use a local one.
Did you know that you can still use WhatsApp and FaceTime with your phone number even if the SIM is not in the device? This fact in combination with my new voicemail will help me being accessible while traveling.
If you do want to talk with me in person, on a video call or by phone, we can always do this on a moment that suits both. Let’s make bilateral appointment.