I’ve said “No” to phone calls in an effort to put myself first and to take care of my inner peace and peace of mind. My time is mine, if a phone conversation is required, it must be scheduled. No one can call me whenever they please. Instead of the typical Indian route of hiring a “handler” to field intrusive phone calls, I’ve taken charge of my time myself.

I can’t educate all the idiots who call at 2000 hrs on a Saturday night saying, “Please come to our event tomorrow afternoon.” Neither can I force anyone else to respect my time. I also can’t force people to change their habits and expect them to work according to my professionalism. 0800 hours calls on a Sunday morning, calls from strangers asking me what it is I do, eight missed calls at 8 p.m. on a Friday night, delivery and courier folk calling me to check if I’m available at my address – despite they themselves having already confirmed a particular time slot and my having re-confirmed that indeed I will be available. Calls asking me how much I charge – when the caller has no idea what it is I do. People who’ve never once visited my blog and call to ask about how I work. People who call to ask for my address so they can send sub-standard products and then call again to check if I’ve received the product and “When will you be writing a review?”

“You won’t get any work if you are not accessible on your phone.” We’ll see. I’ve already signed two big gigs with good clients. I spoke with both teams on my phone when a call was scheduled at a mutually convenient time. These also happen to be projects I’m personally very keen on. If after two to three months of having my phone off turns out to be leading to absolutely no work, I can always turn my phone back on.

I will no longer be a slave to everyone else’s priorities, bad manners, disrespect & unprofessionalism. No one else is responsible for my time, my mental well being & my life. I am.

Right now is important to me. Where I’m headed in the future will reveal itself regardless of whether I want it to or not. When my phone was set up to receive calls, it was on the Silent mode most of the day anyway. But the notification flashes of 25-30 calls on an average working day used to bother me. My inner dialogue was inundated with, “Do these people really know why they are calling? Do they even know who they are calling? Did I forget a call I’d scheduled? Who is this calling at 10 p.m.! Must be some lost idiot calling.” I didn’t like my inner dialogue. It was disrupting my inner peace.

Who knew turning the phone off would create so much space in my life!

( Here’s how to turn off all incoming calls on your Android : Settings > Call Settings > Call Barring > All Incoming. Hit “Enable”. It’ll ask you for a 4-digit code. The default code is 1234. Then it’ll ask you to set a new code. And you’re set. You will still be able to make calls but if someone calls you, they will hear, “This number is temporarily out of service.” )

It’s beautiful.
And it’s not selfish. If you won’t put yourself first, no one will.

I’m always available on email and my email addresses are shared on all my social media profiles and on this blog as well. Email me!




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  1. Naina,

    I’ve seen people following a check-email-only-twice-a-day ritual and deactivating their social media accounts to gain more control of their time and attention span, but this is something new and interesting (it isn’t extreme at all, in my opinion).

    Hopefully, it wouldn’t affect quantity of work that you get per month, as all the professional clients (whom you would eventually choose to work with), will have the sense to follow the process described above (scheduling meetings, and then calling). But still, I would be interested in following your experience that you have while following this ritual and would love to see a few updates on how it is turning out to be (maybe in the form of blog posts in the future)!

    May this ritual purge all the ‘lost idiots’ from your life!

    PS: I remember having mentioned Cal Newport’s blog on twitter once. He also writes on similar topics, and in his latest book, titled Deep Work, he talks about the process and the necessity of eliminating irrelevant distractions from one’s life. Trust me- if your experiment turns out to be useful, you could very well appear in his next book or a future blog post!

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