How to Stop Your Phone From Interrupting Your Life

We have let our phones take over.

We carry them everywhere.

We let they interrupt our lives at any moment.

Do you let your phone rule your life?

Is Your Phone Interrupting Your Life?

We are never without our phones.

Even worse, most people cannot resist jumping anytime their phone beeps, vibrates, or chirps.

We have let our phones take over our lives and we are like Pavlov’s dog anytime they beckon.

Interrupting a conversation to “take a call” is as commonplace as checking email during a meeting.

“I have to take this call…”

Why…?

Seriously, why do you have to take it now?

Do any of these sound familiar?

– The person holding the meeting takes a phone call and speaks for 10 minutes.

– Lady in a restaurant taking a call at her table like it is her private bedroom.

– Gentleman yelling into his speakerphone while walking around in a store.

When did we prioritize our phones over everything else in our lives?

Ring Ring… Interruption Calling

For many people, their phone is a constant tether to their job, their friends, and to pretty much anyone that wants to call them.

However, your phone is a leash only if you let it be. You control how much power it holds over you.

Here are 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Phone: 

  1. Turn Off the Ringer – If not for yourself, for the rest of us, turn your ringer off. That is what silent mode is for. A ringing phone is one of the worst interruptions in the workplace.  My desk phone is actually set to never ring. It gives one short beep, and then flashes the line. This minimizes the disruption if I have someone in my office. (PS – Apple, please fire the engineer that came up with the iPhone cricket ringtone. We will all thank you.)
  2. Turn Off the Notifications – Do you really need a “ding” every time you get an email? Or when your friend just played their turn in “Draw Something?” Even more important that your ringer, disable or silence all unimportant notifications.
  3. Let It Go To Voicemail – Don’t be afraid to let a calls go to voicemail. That is what it is there for. Let voicemail do its job, so that you don’t have to be interrupted.
  4. Answer It Only When You Want To – People answer their phones anytime, any where, no matter what they are doing. I heard a guy answer his phone in the bathroom the other day. Really? Answer your phone only when you want to answer it. Don’t let the bell determine your actions.
  5. Prioritize the Present – I am always amazed when people answer their phone while they are in the middle of a conversation with someone. Always prioritize the person in front of you over the person on the phone.
  6. Excuse Yourself – If you must answer your phone, excuse yourself. Go outside the restaurant. Leave the meeting room. Find a private space.
  7. Return It Later – Just because someone has your #, doesn’t mean you have to take their call right now. Some calls are better answered with a text or email. A quick answer is often better responded to by a SMS than by a 10 minute social call.
  8. Turn It Off – We live in world where we think we have to always be reachable. But, we don’t. Turn that phone off (or put it in airplane mode) and reclaim some of your quiet time.

Take Control Of Your Phone

You don’t have to let your phone rule your life.

Take ownership of your phone.

Turn off the bells, whistles, and distractions.

Answer it only when it makes sense.

Remember, your phone is there for your convenience… not theirs.

Question: Do you answer your phone no matter what you are doing?

15 thoughts on “How to Stop Your Phone From Interrupting Your Life

  1. If you take a call when you are with someone you are telling the person you are with that the person on the phone is more important. You wouldn’t do that to a customer or your boss, why would you do that to your spouse or children?

  2. Amen! (times 1,000!)

    I’m super excited because Apple’s newest iOS will have a feature where you can turn the phone silent and then have a “favorites” list to allow the call to come through. This is great for those that want only a specific family member’s call to get through when all other calls should be ignored.

    Otherwise, I have a “no phones on the table” rule when I meet people in coffee shops and such. I also set my phone to silent when I walk into a meeting. It’s call common decency.

  3. The suggestion of putting the phone in airplane mode is fantastic. Whenever I go to important meetings I always put the phone in airplane mode (got the idea after reading that post by the way).

    I will like to add that some people call to ask “What you doing?” and spend half hour talking nonsense. Now that’s a total time waster. Whenever I’m working with someone I tell them to turn off their cellphones because it infuriate me hearing the phone ring when working (especially when editing video).
    I constantly get calls from clients and about 95% of the time I answer, but in that case they are paying me for that so I have to be available.

    1. Yes, good idea with airplane mode. The upcoming iOS will also have a “privacy mode” while will allow you to screen calls.

      And of course, if a paying client is calling… good idea to answer the phone. 😉

  4. Since it directly ties to your post I had to share an incident that really made this over the top for me. I was in an airport and went into a bathroom stall to do my business. Right after I entered my stall a man entered the bathroom talking on his cell. He then proceeded to occupy the stall next to me while still talking. And this wasn’t guys talking, he was clearly talking to his secretary, making plans and talking about appointments – as we all could clearly hear. I’ve heard of squatting and surfing but this really took the cake. Hopefully that guy out there comes across this post.

  5. How about simply pressing the OFF button? It amazes me to see young people out for meals together and each are staring at their phone waiting on the next best thing. Yes, we sometimes have to take care of business on our phones but I don’t understand being chained to them. As an experiment, turn it off and put it in a drawer for 24 hours. If you start to get sweaty and light-headed at the thought, perhaps you should consider your addiction. Same thing with ipads, laptops, tv, etc etc.

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