How to reduce your voicemails to (almost) zero

This is a blog in a continuing series of posts to find ways to simplify, improve and streamline your life.

We live in a world where we are bombarded by communications/messages/notifications.  In this day and age, the voicemail is one of the least efficient, and probably most annoying ways of communicating (I would argue outdated). There are so many steps: click the notification, wait for the thing, press the one, wait for the message, listen to it, press 7, wait for the thing, etc. etc. and on it goes.

Today's post will share my experiment in reducing voice mail down to a minimum. I'm glad to say that I've successfully reduced my voice mail (only received 2 voicemails in the past month vs approx 4-5 a day) using a very simple technique. I applied my "patented" 3 step approach

1 – Self-reflection on your current situation

2 – Design of a new "desired" outcome

3 – Action - Take the most direct action to create the desired outcome

Here is the step by step process on how I reduced my voicemails to a minimum

  • Step 1: REFLECTION: Answer this question: Do I like receiving voicemails or do I prefer receiving other forms of communication?
  • Step 2: DESIGN: If your answer was "anything but voicemail" choose your preferred way you want to receive communications. In my case, text message (SMS) is MUCH more efficient, easy than a voicemail. I designed my new desired outcome: fewer voicemails and more text messages when people had something to share with me.
  • Step 3: ACTION: Now to take action on creating this new "voicemail-less" reality, I created a new "voicemail message" for my answering machine which essentially says something like this:
    • Write the script: Hello, my name is… I prefer not receiving voicemails if you are able to please send me a text message, and if that is not possible, please send me an email @ (email address), and if you do not have any other option, you are more than welcome to leave a message. I will not answer voice mails as rapidly, however, please be warned.
  • Step 4: LIFE IMPROVED.

I did this on a whim one day, and have not looked back since. This may be a small part of one facet of ones' life. That being said, I think there are some principles here that can be applied more broadly, which is to think about what is your best life, are you living it right now, if not what adjustments would you want to make, and how can you achieve them.

Let me know if you found this useful, also if you try this out, please, let me know how it goes and post a comment here later on. Also, if you have other ideas like this that you've tried out, would love to hear them! Cheers!

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