June 15

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Turn your notifications off and your focus on

By Ralph Varcoe

June 15, 2020

productivity hacks

3.1   No, No, Notifications

Productivity hack no.30 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.


How many Apps do you have on your phone and computer combined? 100? More? Probably most of these don’t get used that often. There will be a few work-horses that are your go-to Apps for working, browsing and playing. All of them are vying for your attention.

Check your Notification settings and count the number which are set to off. By default, they are on, so you’d have to have gone in and turned them off yourself if they are off. Then have a look at those that are on and see that they can notify you through Banners, Sounds and Badges. That’s three ways they will shout at you and distract.

Maybe it’s something spooky about my phone in particular but I swear I didn’t make any changes to any Notifications recently and yet I started getting messages ping up from Twitter telling me that ‘So and So’ has tweeted. Maybe the App updated and defaulted back to standard. Maybe it was user error. Maybe my phone has a ghost.

The Notification dropdown on my Mac is permanently set to Do Not Disturb. I just checked and had it not been I’d have had about a dozen interruptions in the past 30 minutes alone.

All these Notifications are trying really hard to distract from your chosen tasks. They are probably jealous you’re heading towards achieving something wonderful!

Do yourself a favour and turn ALL your Notifications OFF. You will already be getting used to scheduling activity such as checking messages and emails, as well as the tasks on your To Do lists. If you need to check on a specific App then schedule that too.

Stop them from distracting you. Every distraction is costing you time and concentration. You can read more about the elimination of these types of distraction in section 3.8 DND. Always DND.

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Ralph Varcoe

About the author

For over 20 years, Ralph has run sales and marketing teams across large enterprises and smaller start-ups, at companies such as Orange, Tata Communications, Virgin Media, Spirit Ai and others. He brings a wealth of experience in personal and professional development with a laser focus on enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible. He's a published author and musician with a passion for creating - be that change, the right solution, exciting campaigns, the right environment for customers to succeed, or podcasts, videos and written content.

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