Why you should turn OFF all your APP notificationS
Why you should turn OFF all your App Notifications
Ad – In collaboration with Samsung Austria
Chances are, your smartphone is bombarding you with notifications on a daily basis and with that, ruining your life. And you don’t even notice. In this post I’ll tell you how I managed to regain control over not just my phone, but my life.
There used to be a time where I would wake up, look at my phone first thing in the morning and receive an endorphin rush thanks to the countless notifications that trickled in over night. New Emails, Instagram mentions, Snapchat messages and more. Oh, and don’t forget Facebook. I’d check all of the push notifications right away, just to make sure I wouldn’t miss anything important.
This would keep going on throughout the day – the phone lights up, I’ll grab it to check what’s new and realize it’s not important. Stare into the air for a second. Then open Instagram. Productivty level zero. It took me a while to realize that this is a) a terrible way to start and go through the day and 2) it doesn’t have to be this way.
Turn App Notifications off (all of them!)
Usually I’d save the best for last but I’ll just say it here right away. Turn your app push notifications off. All of them! Yes I really mean it.
“But what about the important XYZ messages. I’d miss them Alberto. What then??”
Ok first of all, almost no messages we receive are not important and urgent at the same time. Imagine a world where you check some of your notifications 3h later, intentionally, when YOU choose to (not your phones chooses to tell you). That’s exactly what turning off your notifications is.
I understand that there are some messages and calls we need to be able to receive at any time. Fortunately, technology producers have over the years made it easier to not only turn off push notifications on devices, but also customize them to your needs. More on this later in the article.
Why this topic is important to me (and should be to you)
This topic might not seem like a biggie and I think that’s why I care so much. Because it has much more impact than we might realize. On our daily routines, how we work and in the end, how we go through life.
It’s something that’s so simple to do but from my own experience I know that you might not consciously think about it. I’ve actually met numerous professional bloggers and Instagrammers that receive every single notification for Instagram there is!(!!) This to me this is distraction and defocus at its highest level. The good thing is, we have a choice on how to deal with this!
If executed correctly, I promise you that with a few changes on your devices and a switch in general mindset you will:
- Be more focused
- Find it easier to concentrate
- Stop worrying about checking your phone all the time
- Be more intentional on how and when you pick up your phone
- With all the above, live a better and more purposeful life (yes, with just some small changes in your phone settings and behaviour)
Being available in case of emergency
I get it – some notifications and calls are important and you have to take action on them right away. Especially in emergency cases you’ll want to be available to your family and loved ones.
Gladly, all newer devices let you customize your notifications these days. Not just if they are turned on or off, but you can have different settings on push notifications depending on what device you’re using!
I personally use the Galaxy S10+ (and now testing the new Galaxy Note 10+) as my phones which let me customize what specific apps are allowed to send me notifications but also what type of notifications apps can send me.
Tell your close family how they can reach you at any time
I’ve set my phone to not allow any push notifications except for incoming calls or text messages (SMS) and calendar notifications for appointments. That way my family and close relatives can still reach me via texts or calls and I’m still in charge on when to check Social Media, Whatsapp, Email etc.
The only two steps you need to take are:
- Distinguish what notifications add real value to your life and/or are necessary
- Take action and sit down to customize your notifications
An easy way to turn off all the noise is to simply set your phone to airplane or Do Not Disturb mode. However, this would hinder your family from calling you in emergencies. Luckily, new smartphones like the Samsung models I use allow you to even customize what kind of contacts can give you a call (e.g. favorite contacts) when your phone is set to Do Not Disturb mode.
The example pictures in this article are on Android, but as mentioned many phones allow you a high level of customization for your notifications or calls – you just need to look for them and set them up!
Emails from your boss (Gmail Settings)
In some situations you’ll have to be able to see and reply to emails right away, e.g. from your boss. This does not mean that you have to keep notifications on for all emails though!
Gmail has a cool setting where you can only receive notifications for specific emails. To find it go to Settings in your Gmail app, then select your main email address, then Notifications > High Priority Only. This way you’ll only get notifications on emails that Gmail thinks are important (e.g. from starred or priority contacts).
Similar settings are also available in Outlook and other email programs.
Other devices – Smart Watches, Headphones & Co.
As mobile devices get more advanced, so get the options to customize device specific notifications too! Good examples are the Galaxy Buds or the Galaxy Watch Active.
Your preferences might be different depending on the device. I for example don’t need to hear an incoming call notification on my Galaxy Buds since it’s enough for me to see it on my phone or smart watch.
On the other side, I choose to receive calendar notification on all my devices because I only set calendar appointments for events I can’t miss. For these cases, check your device settings and toggle on/off the notifications you want to receive.
Key here is to be very picky and asking yourself if you really need to see push notifications of each specific app. Personally, I couldn’t be more happy with the customization of app notifications the Samsung devices allow as you can literally specify each app and even what kind of notification it should be (sound, vibrate only, pop up etc.).
A general word on availability and its misconceptions
With the rise of smartphones over the last 15 years it sometimes seems like we have forgotten that we have a choice on how to use these devices. Having the option to be available doesn’t mean that you have to actually be available all the time.
Choosing your notifications gives you control on when and how you want to respond to incoming alerts. Calling or texting someone back 2 hours later instead of right away doesn’t do any harm in most of the cases. What it does do however is that it gives you more focus. You are in control on if/how these notifications affect you.
Being active in sales for many years now, I have learned that not receiving a reply right away is not a big issue at all. My general mindset if someone doesn’t reply in a day or two is that I simply tell myself: “No problem. I know that people are busy and their universe doesn’t revolve around me or my inquiries. I’ll simply follow up in a polite and professional way.”
That’s it – no emotional feelings attached. No “Hey I messaged you 2h earlier but saw you were online on Facebook..??” or other misleading thoughts.
And yes, it’s even the same with close friends and family. If they don’t reply – no hard feelings. I just call or message again. It’s never something that would affect my relationship with anyone. Don’t go crazy if someone doesn’t respond right away and at the same time, give yourself the freedom to not having to reply an an instant as well!
Please give this a shot. I know it can sound weird and “not normal” at first and I personally have never really seen anyone talk about this! And that’s exactly the reason I wanted to write about all of this in more depth.
If you’ve read until here, my ask for you is to give this a shot. Grab your phone, go into settings and customize your app notifications.
I promise you that it will literally change your life. Yes, even though it’s such a small and simple change!
Watch my YouTube Video below on the topic!
Hi, I’m Alberto Nodale.