I changed my iPhone settings to regain some attention
…and the results were even better than expected. Here’s what I changed:
This made all the difference in the world. I was tired of getting notification banners in the middle of writing an email or journal because I would completely lose my place or give up on it altogether. I turned off all notifications for apps besides phone & video calling (unchanged), messaging, and a few social media ones.
For message notifications (iMessage, Facebook Messenger, email), I changed the notifications to only show up in the notification center and make a sound. No badges, definitely no banners, and no lock screen. Rationale is as follows. Badges distract me when I have to switch apps in the middle of a task. Banners were already mentioned. Lock screen notifications distract me as I usually only stay on the lock screen to check the time and don’t like getting sucked into responding from there. Social media and other less important stuff isn’t important enough to get any indication, so I set them to only show in notification center.
Now, no matter what I’m doing, almost nothing visual pulls me away. Calls and other urgent stuff still comes through. Responses I might be expecting like messages and emails simply buzz. Everything else shows up in the notification center with no audible or visual distraction. Checking and responding to notifications now becomes a discrete task instead of an ongoing distraction: just pull down the notification center. It’s awesome.
This one isn’t as life-changing, but I made a folder on the second, less used page on my home screen called “Time Wasters”. This is where I now keep my games and social media apps like Twitter and Reddit. Sometimes I do just want a good distraction.
Anyway, I’d love some responses with more tweaks and tricks. Thanks for reading ✌