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Don’t do it.

You’re staring at your phone’s caller ID as yet another unknown number, or worse yet, a restricted phone number is staring back at you.

You may not know exactly who it is, but really, you know exactly who it is.

It’s no one you know.

dark selfie

It’s a robo-call or some scam. It’s someone asking for money for this cause, that fraternal order, or some foreign prince. It’s Marriott or Westin or Visa or American Express. It’s some politician or some political party.

Regardless of who it is on the other end of the line, it’s nobody you are expecting a call from. You definitely didn’t request correspondence. And truthfully you don’t want the call at all.

You know why you do it; why you swipe or hit the answer key.

You tell yourself it might be an emergency that needs your attention. It could be a friend or family member. They may have recently gotten a new phone number.

But it never is, and deep down you know this to be true.


So why do you do it? Why answer the calls from those unknown numbers when they are nothing but an interruption to your day, thought processes, and momentum?

It’s sad, but the best you can hope for in answering those mysterious callers is them having a wrong number. Maybe they are looking for Margaret, or Edith, or Richard. If you are really lucky they won’t try to sell you something or ask for your money in some way anyhow.

In most cases, answering these calls just leads to you becoming frustrated and agitated. That leads to stress.

Depending on how you choose to respond to these alien interlopers, it can lead to regret when you lose your patience and cool. You know those times when you hang up abruptly or snap at the person on the other end. Even if they didn’t accept your answer of “No,” that didn’t mean you wanted to display that worst side of yourself.

sad phone


This week’s Moving On Minute is a simple life hack.

It comes from lifestyle designer Timothy Ferriss. Ferriss is the author of five books, including two that reached the apex of the New York Times bestsellers list.

Ferriss’s solution is so simple, and so elegant.

Just. Don’t. Pick. Up.

If anyone ever calls you from a number you do not recognize, don’t pick it up. No matter what.

Ferriss goes on, “Feel free to surprise others, but don’t be surprised.

I can you tell you from first-hand experience, it works. It’s borderline genius!


I’ve been utilizing this hack since I read his book The 4-Hour Work Week and I know exactly what I miss out on by not picking up the phone for any unknown numbers…

Absolutely nothing!

If any of it is truly important, the caller will leave a voice message. You can then listen to that voicemail at your own convenience. If you decide to return the phone call at all, then you can do it at your own leisure as well.

As far as the concern of missing out on important updates from family or friends, they know better. They will reach you on social media or by text message if they’ve got a new phone number or any other critical news for you.

Not picking up the phone for unknown callers will reduce your wasted time, as well as your stress in dealing with all the uninvited nonsense nuisances.

Now, if there is only a similar hack for the email inbox…

*Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk

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