What I learned from turning off notifications. New experiment: Writing every day.
Nick Soman
61

Interesting observations Nick!

I’ve had a different experience. Maybe because of differences in nature of work, working style, and/or personality.

I stopped using most messaging programs/apps years ago and haven’t missed them at all. Giving people the power to interrupt me on-demand lead to abuse of it and too much randomization. I still use FB Messenger, but mobile notifications are turned off.

Actually, I have notifications turned off for nearly all mobile apps. Too many apps constantly trying to get my attention for reasons I don’t care about, where caring includes two dimensions of timeliness — the first whether the event is fresh and the second whether it’s at a time I want to know about it. Apps tend to prioritize their desire to reach you versus your desire for them to reach you.

I still allow notifications for SMS/iMessage, but about a month ago, I started putting my phone on do-not-disturb when I need/want to be heads-down. I’ve found that I forget about my phone until a while later when I take a look. This has lead to increased productivity for me.

I’ve been extremely happy with less distraction and have been fine with the trade-off of less reach-ability. I don’t have kids, though if I did, I’m sure I’d have a Bat Phone where I can be reached no matter what for emergencies 24/7.

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