How to Reduce Unwanted Calls During the Day

It happens to all of us. We hear our phone ringing from across the house and frantically rush to answer it, only to find it’s a robo-call. You hang up, but your blood pressure is elevated, and you’re annoyed.

And the next time the phone rings, you do it again.

While missing important calls can make you feel panicky, fielding unwanted calls during the day can be more aggravating. However, we have several tools available to us to help manage calls. Follow the tips below to help you decrease the number of unwanted calls and keep them from disturbing you.

Turn On Do-Not-Disturb Mode

man on the phoneImage via Flickr by photoloni

Many phones have a setting that allows you to work uninterrupted from phone calls and notifications. Don’t feel you have to save this special weapon only for important meetings or circumstances. Use it when you need a digital break or at times when you would rather not be interrupted by phone calls.

If you know there are certain times of the day when you tend to receive unwanted calls, be sure to turn on the do-not-disturb mode so that you won’t be bothered. Check your phone settings for how to turn this feature on — it’s usually found in the phone’s volume menu.

Don’t Answer Unknown Numbers

Ignoring unwanted or unfamiliar calls is the best way to get them to stop. Once you answer a robo-call or telemarketing call, you’ve now confirmed that your number is operational, opening yourself up to receiving many more calls in the future.

A good rule of thumb to use is whether a caller leaves a voicemail. Someone who wants to speak with you will leave you a message; solicitors won’t. Even if you happen to miss a call you needed to answer, calling back after checking your voicemail is simple.

If a caller doesn’t leave a message, but you aren’t sure if the number was from a true caller, you can always try blocking your number and calling back a questionable phone number. This way, you can confirm the legitimacy of the call without revealing your contact information.

Request Emails or Texts from Contacts

Another tactic to decrease the overall number of calls you receive is to request emails or text messages instead. Receiving messages through email or text allows you to control when and how you respond. Unlike phone calls, email and texts allow you to more easily manage your workload and juggle demanding tasks.

Register Your Number on the National Do Not Call Registry

If you haven’t already, add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry. This process allows you to add your number to a federal database, essentially making your number off-limits for telemarketing calls. While you still may receive other types of solicitation or market research calls, this one step can reduce unwanted calls.

If you’re still receiving unwanted calls from a particular number after you’ve been on the registry for at least 30 days, you can simply report potential violations of the policy to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by submitting your complaint online.

Block Unwanted Numbers

Once you’ve identified an unwanted number, take a few moments to block it from your phone. The process will vary depending on your phone make and model. In most cases, if you press your finger on the number in your calling app, you’ll pull up a menu that includes adding that number to a blocked list.

Keep Your Number Private

Countless stores, loyalty programs, social media sites, and apps ask for your phone number. Resist giving it out. Keep your phone number off your social media profiles and don’t give it out to stores or in web forms. If you don’t circulate your number, telemarketers will have a more difficult time targeting you.

Managing unwanted calls is frustrating even in the best of circumstances. However, you can easily take back control of your phone and your time with a few easy steps. Not only can you decrease the number of calls you receive, but you can also keep calls from interrupting you throughout the day.


  • michele

    I have never turned on a do not disturb because I am worried about losing an important call but it is a great option…..

  • Sarah L

    For some (nice) reason I don’t get many strange calls on my cell phone. Do get them on my landline and ignore them.

  • Rosie

    I need caller ID. I get robo and charity calls, and “survey” calls and hate it. I’m on ‘do not call’ list, but these still come through every day.

  • Kara Marks

    These are all great tips–thanks. Sometimes I’ll google a no. if someone has called more than once w/o leaving a message. I can find out if it’s a common spam no. or sometimes something really legitimate. Why legitimate callers don’t leave voicemails, I don’t know, but that drives me nuts!

  • Kate Sarsfield

    One of the best bits of kit we’ve ever got is the simple little caller ID doodah. If I don’t recognise it I don’t answer. Same with my mobile phone.

  • Tamra Phelps

    I’m one of those people who just cannot turn on the do not disturb function, lol. I obsess over who might be trying to call.

  • Tamra Phelps

    I never answer unknown numbers. A few months back, Mom wanted a landline again, so we got one. Apparently, whoever had the number before us owed money to a lot of creditors, lol. They call a lot. Even after telling them that person no longer has this number, they still call. I put the number on the no-call list, but technically these callers are not soliciting anything, they are just looking for someone that isn’t here, lol. Argh! I’ve just stopped answering. Hopefully, they’ll give up soon or I’m getting a new number.

  • cjsoyer

    Yeah I don’t answer unknown numbers for this very reason. If it’s someone who really needs me they know to leave a message. I also don’t give out my number if I don’t have to. I try to be cautious.

  • michele

    All great tips.. I never answer unknown or private numbers.. my biggest problem is that my cell provider send numerous robo calls and texts for advertising and they drive me nuts…..

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