If you’re like I am and a million others around the world, talking on the phone has become passé; between texting, Snap Chatting, Instagramming and even emailing, there are many less invasive forms of communication out there. But sometimes,be it for work or because you want to hear someone’s voice, you just gotta do it. The thing is,because we’ve all become so adept at splitting our attention, it’s hard to talk on the phone and not, you know, do something else. At least it's hard for me. So I’ve put together this handy list of activities to save for such times. It's a list of activities just actionable enough to distract you, but not too much that you lose the conversational thread. So hit that mute button and multi-task like a pro.
This wonderful, multi-layered activity demands just the right level of split focus, and it’s a beautifier too! If the conversation becomes interminable, there’s always your toes...
2. Do Your Laundry
An ideal time for this activity! It’s myriad steps — taking stuff out of the dryer, folding it, putting it away — guarantees you a cycle of quiet activities to engage in while the person on the other end of the line seems like they may never stop talking.
3. Wash the dishes.
An abhorrent activity, it goes by without feeling like total drudgery when you’re on the phone. Just don’t forget to press mute when the water’s running otherwise the person (or people if this is a conference call) will complain (rightly so) about the noise on the other end. And don’t forget to dry your hands before un-muting to add some choice, “Umm-hmmms” and “I got its!” to the convo.
4. Make art!
If you paint, draw, sew, what-have-you, this can be the perfect thing to do while talking on the phone. If this isn’t a work call, tell you friend/family member what you’re up to! Share your passion — it’s the second best thing to doing stuff together.
Instagram is a wonderful distraction while talking to anyone — minimal words, fun pictures … if you follow one of my favs — National Geographic — you will remember that there’s a fascinating world out there waiting for you once you get off the phone.
Gardening is a Zen-like activity sure to keep you calm while on the phone.
I suggest sticking with basic, soft-landing foods like sandwich meats and cheese. When you need to chop stuff, hit that mute button. When the call is over, lunch!
8. Walk & Talk.
While there are benefits of moving away from home, there are also detractors, like you miss your friends. So turn on Facetime and show your old pals around the ‘hood.
9. Flip through a magazine.
Perusing glossy images of beautiful clothes, incredible architecture or cool design can be very soothing. Whatever your jam, look at photographs of it while talking on the phone to tech support and it will help you not completely lose your mind.
10. Let the sunshine in.
Few things in the world are more pleasant than lying on a blanket in a park, on the beach, or in the forest in the sun. Do this and call someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Just don’t forget your earbuds — it gets super tiring holding that little device up to your ear.