While simplifying my life, I have found it very necessary to streamline and filter incoming forms of communication. The main sources are mail, email, phone calls, and text messages.
*For mail, I have removed myself from as many mailing lists as possible. This was done by writing, calling, or emailing places that sent me mail. I have also signed up for DMA choice. After a couple of years, I have only one place that has proven difficult to remove. It is such a pleasure to see an empty mail box most days, and only necessary mail on other days. This also reduces the amount of paper that needs recycled or shredded.
*For email, I have unsubscribed from many email lists, use filters to block unwanted messages or sort needed ones, and also use caution signing up for any new lists. I do not like to just give out my email address.
*Phone calls have been a bit harder to streamline, but I have finally found a system that works.
~My cell phone is set up to allow calls from contacts only using the restrictions feature in my phone settings. All other calls go straight to voicemail, so I don't truly miss a call. My phone just doesn't ring for numbers I don't know or don't want.
~I use an online voicemail service that allows me to set greetings by contact. All blocked caller ID or unknown numbers are given the message to unblock their number and try again. They cannot leave a message. Known spam callers are greeted with a message that makes them think they have the wrong number or an out of service one. They are also unable to leave a message. For friends and family, I can set a greeting that suits each person. I also have a generic message as the default greeting. With spam callers being sent to voicemail right away and given a greeting that doesn't allow a message, they usually get discouraged and stop calling. Recently, I had a place that called every day including weekends, but would not unblock their number or leave a message when given the chance. After setting up this system, they stopped calling.
~When I first receive a call from a new phone number, I use Google to determine who is calling. If there are a lot of reports that it is a telemarketer, I add the number into my voicemail contacts and use the "ditch" feature. If I can't find information, I give them a chance to leave a message.
This method seems to be difficult to set up, but it is easy to maintain and has really cut down on the number of calls that I receive. If my phone rings, it is someone that I want or need to talk to now.
*For text messages, I only have the choice to either block all or allow all. I do make sure to not sign up for text message mailing lists, so I don't get spam messages thankfully. On days that I really do need some quiet, I will block text messages. This however is rare.
I hope that these tips help you eliminate unwanted calls or mailings.
Until next time,