If you do, I won’t answer. Ever. Here’s why.
I haven’t taken an unscheduled call since 2011. Not on my iPhone. Not on my desk phone. Not on Skype, Messenger or Facetime Audio.
Not from a bank, or a car company, or an airline, or a phone company, or anyone else for that matter.
When someone asks for my phone number (such as when I’m making apurchase, registering for an event, etc), I give them a made up number.
When someone says “I’ll call you to confirm the details” I reply with “I don’t answer my phone, so you’ll need to email me instead.”
If you call me, I don’t have a voicemail greeting. And I don’t check my voicemail. Ever.
A bit over the top? Maybe to you. But as I’ve written about previously, I value my time more than any other asset I control. So I’m not going to give it to anyone who just happens to know my phone number.
Phone calls today are the communication equivalent of banner ads. They are interruptive. No one likes them. And they stop you from doing what you want to do.
So why deal with them? Don’t.
If there’s one sure-fire way to triple the amount of productive hours you have in a week, it’s to stop answering your phone. Period. Well, except calls from your partner, kids, mom, etc.
When employees want to reach me outside of a pre-planned call, it’s Slack or Trello. For friends and family, it’s Messenger. For everyone else it’s email.
I have zero flexibility on this communication policy.
If you’re used to living life constantly answering your phone, the first week will feel strange when you stop. But by week two you’ll appreciate the silence and serenity. You’ll have a huge chunk of your time back (remember — time is the ONLY asset we can’t buy more of) and you’ll feel a new level of calm when you realize 95% of the people who call you are time wastersanyway.
The other 5% will still be able to reach you. But it will be via an asynchronous channel like email or message.
And you choose if/when you reply.
Life is a game of control. And the more you control your own time, the faster you can accomplish the things that are important to you.
|About Mitchell Harper
Mitch is a 7x company founder, advisor and investor. He is best known as the co-founder of BigCommerce. His companies have generated over $200,000,000 in total revenue and he is currently building an online education company and a SaaS company.