I had my carrier completely remove the voicemail feature from my phone number in November of 2014.
Guess. What. Happened.
Actually, something quite remarkable happened for me. I no longer get voicemails. I get a short text message instead if something is really important and that's rare. If not a text, I get a brief email with specifics.
A DAILY TASK: WAS IT WORTH IT?
Before I removed the voicemail feature, I was constantly trying to keep on top of them. It was a daily task that required time, and sometimes weird emotional stuff thrown in too. I know I'm not the only one with this relationship to voicemail....how many of you just dread listening to all those unheard voicemails? I did. They became a bit stressful for me....that red bubble with a number inside....
My voicemail box also became this kind of 'third place' that housed a different set of to-dos and things I needed to deal with and keep track of....on top of everything else. I always had to circle back to the 'voicemail pit', listen to them again (so many said absolutely nothing and were longer than 2 minutes). When I sat back and calculated how many minutes I spent listening to voicemails in just one day, it reminded me of the scene from the Princess Bride with the quicksand. It sucks you in....and what do you get out of it? Just lots of minutes of your life listening to people asking you to call them back but not saying why they were calling? I realized voicemail was not critical to my life in any way. No business was getting done, no progress anywhere.
It was kind of.....weird.
ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY STRESSORS
I took a good hard look at things that were causing me stress in my day-to-day life in November 2014. The voicemail thing was not the only stress-causer. But, it was at the top of the list for me. I realized I could probably just turn it off and completely eliminate the problem.
Well, getting the voicemail feature completely turned off will take you some time. In my case, I had to call my carrier around 4 times, and I had to really explain that I did not want anyone to even have the option to leave me a voicemail. I think at one point I said "Like the 1980s....when you'd call a landline and it would just ring and ring. That's what I want. I want it to be like I'm not home."
After my last call with my carrier, I looked at my phone and....no voicemails. No visual voicemail. Nothing.
So, if you call me, it will just ring and ring. Just like when you'd call someone a couple decades ago when they weren't home.
If it rings and rings.....I'm not home.
And if I am 'home', I'll answer right away. I promise.