How to Not Become a Slave to Notifications

by | May 25, 2012 | Personal Development

Alert ButtonSometimes with all of the buzzing, dinging, ringing, and beeping of all the separate devices in your life you can feel like you are living within a video arcade with hundreds of overactive pinball machines.

Your phone jingles whenever you get a text message, your laptop dings when a new email arrives, and your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites also join in the buzzing chaos.

We have gotten in the habit of checking these notifications every few minutes, no matter if they are important or not.

It can be incredibly difficult to focus when you are constantly being distracted by a host of jangling devices, so how can you manage your notifications so that they don’t interrupt your work flow?

 Decide What is Most Important

The first thing to do is to determine which notifications are absolutely crucial to you, and which ones you can miss out on.

For example, text messages, phone calls, and emails might be the most important things in your workday, and you might get in trouble with your boss for not responding to an email quickly.

However, you might find that things like Twitter and Facebook are not as time-sensitive and you can ignore them for 8 hours of the day without missing anything urgent.

Make a list of everything you receive notifications for, and pick out the ones that are the most important.

Turn Everything Else Off

This may be difficult to do, because many of us have become addicted to our technology, but it’s time to pull the plug on your electronics.

Turn off all of the automated email reminders and pop-up windows on your computer, and power down your cell phone if you don’t need to be reached by phone.

Check at Set Times

Rather than skipping over to check your email every two minutes, get in the habit of making set times to check and respond to all of your communication.

You could check for 10 minutes every morning before you start work, lunchtime, and after work. You won’t miss anything urgent, and you can use the time in between much more productively.

If you can learn to manage your notifications more effectively you can make much better use of your time and avoid getting distracted!