Spending ten minutes turning off notifications is the best thing I’ve been able to do with my mobile

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How many notifications do you receive at the end of the day? I, on average, I received 117 daily notifications last week. They are not many, not at all (mute whatsapp groups and professional mail helps), but let’s think about it coolly. 117 notifications a day are 117 times your phone vibrates (or worse, sounds) to distract you from concentration and/or annoy you. And I insist, 117 are not many.

To this we must add that these notifications also reach the clock (or they did, before I got serious about this issue), which doubles the nuisance. Faced with this situation, one afternoon I decided that it was over. No more having the phone vibrate every once in a while (because I never, ever have the phone on ringtone). Solution? Deactivate the notifications that do not contribute absolutely anything and leave the essential ones.

Notifications for whoever wants them

Pokemon

When I think about the apps that I have installed on my mobile, I divide them into two categories: the important ones and the absurd ones. Important can be WhatsApp messages sent to me personally, a message from my boss via Slack or a call from my mother. Absurd can be a meme in a WhatsApp group, one of those emails that you don’t know why they reach you or a retweet on Twitter. You get the idea I think

The key lies in being clear about what we want and what we are looking for. And show no mercy. The FOMO is there, of course. It’s “normal” to be tempted to go to Twitter to see if you’ve been mentioned, or check your email just in case, or open Instagram in case someone has DMed you. FOMO also comes out, believe me.

The easiest thing was to get rid of the most absurd notifications, like the one from games (I can live without knowing that a Pokémon has found a candy in ‘Pokémon GO’), the ones sent by some apps from deliverythose from streaming services… If you’re not sure what they are, take a look at the notifications you have pending and those that arrive today. If you go olympically from them, to the hole without fear.

Twitter

The button above does magic.

There may be apps that allow you to configure which notifications reach you. For example, let’s think about the Instagram app. Maybe you’re interested in direct message notifications, but not likes on your posts. Well, take a look at the settings and leave activated only the ones you don’t use. In my case, social networks are like this: all notifications disabled. Social networks are a well of distractions and warnings in which I have already spent too much time.

Instagram

With work applications, almost more of the same. Slack, the messaging tool, allows you to schedule notifications so that, After a certain time, you do not receive notifications on your mobile. If the app you use at work allows it, my personal recommendation is to take advantage of the function to disconnect outside of working hours. The same with mail: the Gmail app allows you to disable notifications at the account level.

I need an internet that doesn't make me feel like I'm missing something important if I don't look at it for five minutes.

So far so good, but now we come to WhatsApp, which can be more complex. I have as a rule mute all but two groups: those of my family (although now we will return to this). Group in which I enter, group that silence. When I finish what I’m doing, I’ll take care of updating myself if I see what’s appropriate. If not, believe me, it’s okay to have missed the interesting talk about Formula 1 that took place from 12:37 to 2:58 p.m. in your friends’ WhatsApp group.

WhatsApp

There may be groups that you don’t always want to be muted, in which case there is an option: mute by time. WhatsApp allows you to silence the group for one hour, eight hours or forever. The one hour option is fabulous so that when they start rambling about the unbearable lightness of being in the group “Amigüitos 2022: Beach & BBQ Edition”, the mobile leaves you alone. The real health.

With this we are more or less served, but one more layer can be added: scheduled “do not disturb” mode. I have the phone configured so that, from 11:30 p.m. until the alarm sounds, “Do not disturb” mode is activated. That means absolutely no apps bother me when I’m in bed or relaxing on the couch while watching a movie.

Do not disturb

“Oh, but what if they call me for something urgent?” It is the question that usually arises whenever I tell this. In my 28 years I have never received an urgent call at two in the morning, but putting that aside: if you mark contacts as favorites (your mother, your partner, your children…), the calls they make to you will reach you even with the “Do not disturb” mode activated. If you stay calmer that way, it’s an option.

What notifications do I keep activated? Those of the individual WhatsApp chats (it is important to learn to differentiate between an important message, an urgent message and an unimportant message), those of the calendar (because it is my beacon on the way to personal organization), those of the notes app (which I configure by hand), those of the bank and the calls.

It took me ten minutes to organize the notifications. And the best thing is that done once, done forever.

How many notifications do you receive at the end of the day? I, on average, I received 117 daily notifications…

How many notifications do you receive at the end of the day? I, on average, I received 117 daily notifications…

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