You’re walking down the street, thinking your next move of the day, and suddenly you feel a vibration in your pocket. The next thing you do is to quickly get your phone out, just to realize that there’s nothing there. It was a phantom notification.
The urge to be connected makes you have a lot of different notifications every single minute: Facebook comments, Instagram likes, twitter mentions, a new mail, your beloved team score, financial news, etc. Being connected and receive live information is something good, but only when you use it right: getting the things you really need at the correct moment.
Did you know that a person receives an average of 64 notifications per day? That means that there are 64 “possible instances” when you can be distracted and get out of focus. But why this is happening? It’s easy: you wanted it to happen.
Every time you install an app, you say yes to receive notifications, and when you a have a great amount of them, voila: you just have created an AK-47 notifications phone.
After reading this, maybe you are feeling somewhat sad about your actions. Don’t worry, this is normal, you just didn’t know what you were doing until you see the consequences. Is there a solution to all this? SURE, but you need to commit mentally first to change it. Now, I’ll present you with some solutions that you can implement in order to free yourself from the “notifications slavery” and just interact when you want, with what you want.
1. Think about what you really need, not what you want.
Do you want to know how the stock market is moving since you are a stock broker, or check when your friends commented on Facebook? Is it necessary to know about every single company stock or just the ones in your portfolio?
These crucial questions are the one that you need to ask yourself depending on what you do and what are your needs. It’s important to eliminate all the things that don’t add value and keep the ones you can’t live without. Literally.
For example, in my case, I don’t need to check social media notifications while I’m working, but I need to be reminded of tasks pending. So the only notifications activated on my lock screen are from task managers & calendars. All the other stuff is disabled (more on that later).
2. Manage your lock screen notifications.
Smartphone and tablets lock screens have evolved in the past years, converting in the first hub of information for you, since you will interact with it even before unlocking the phone. What do you think is best, an overload of information or the important stuff at glance?
Much better when brevity reigns right? Depending on the phone you have, it is possible to control what app notifications can appear on your screen is locked. Since you already know what is important to you, just disable those and leave them for when you unlock your phone, or just disable them entirely if you feel that you don’t need them.
In iOS, you can go to Settings >> Notifications >> tap the app you want to work with >> Show on Lock Screen to Off.
In Android 5 Lollipop and up, you can go to Settings >> Notifications >> tap the app you want to work with >> On Lock Screen to Off.
3. Put your device in silence.
What if you have a lot of important things to care about? the amount of notifications you will receive will still be high. In these cases, I simply put the phone in Do Not Disturb mode.
every day from 8 to 5, my phone is silent to any disturbing notification, and the only way I could see them is when I have free time to check my phone. On my lock screen is present only the most important stuff, so most of the time I don’t even unlock it.
Since iOS 7, you can activate Do Not Disturb going to Settings >> Do Not Disturb or swiping from the bottom the control center and clicking the moon icon.
Since Android 5 lollipop, you can activate Do Not Disturb going to the Quick Settings Panel >> Do Not Disturb.
Image courtesy of gadgetguideonline.com
Another alternative is to install Do Not Disturb.
Notifications are a double-edged sword: they can be your most reliable source of info or a bomb that will explode your day. Controlling what you see when you use your device is more than crucial to your productivity, so I encourage you from now on to manage better them following these recommendations.
Are you having a hard time with notifications? Was it helpful this article to you? Share your thoughts below and share with your friends!