Throughout this life, I have, for many reasons, found it necessary to garner as many phone numbers as possible. Some for pleasure – like my bowling buddy. Some for need – such as the club owner that will let you in “for free” on New Year’s Eve. And some out of obligation – in a perfect world, you would never have asked for their phone number, but they asked, and, out of guilt, you reciprocated the gesture. I know that the 160 numbers in my phone where added for one of the aforementioned reasons, but as I scroll incessantly through the list, the reasons for 80 percent of the numbers elude my brain.
Well, I am tired of scrolling for 15 minutes trying to find “Wick‘s Pizza“ and it is about time to clean up my address book. So my resolution for 2010 is to slash my phone book down to 30 numbers.
Here’s the plan – it is three fold: Any numbers I have not dialed in two years that have nothing to do with fixing my car, doing my taxes or renewing my insurance will automatically be deleted. I will only offer a reprieve to distant family members and ex-girlfriends of long ago, for which I will rename “do not answer.” Any numbers that I have dialed or have contacted me in the last three months, I will grant amnesty for the year of 2010. The numbers will stay in my phone, but will be up for review in 2011.
Then there are the numbers that have been active within the two-year span, but dormant for longer than three months. I like to call these numbers “on the bubble.” These numbers are very crucial, and a more cohesive strategy must spur the decision process. I will take a random week in January, call every number “on the bubble,” and proceed to have a four-minute conversation. At the end of the four minutes, I will allow 30 seconds of self reflection, in which I will decide if the conversation was good enough to warrant a call back. If so, keep; if not, erase. Through this plan, I should be able to complete my mission successfully.
I know what you are thinking. What kind of arrogant, self indulgent, egomaniac thinks up such ploys? All arrogance aside, this is a great way to practice something definitely needed in this society – the simplification of one’s life through the sacrifice of clutter. The act of getting rid of all that is unnecessary makes one appreciate what is necessary. How much more appreciation will you have for your frequent callers when you rid yourself of the superfluous numbers like “Todd from accounting” or “girl from O’shea’s.” Join me, people. Let’s simplify our lives ... and let’s start with our phones!