Apparently, I’m one of the last people to do this, but this past week I removed all of the notification dots from my iphone. It has been amazing. The week before, I stopped all notifications from popping up on my locked screen or when I was using the phone. I didn’t really think about the dots when I made the initial adjustment, so it was a kind of baby stepping withdrawal, and it feet so good that I just kept going.
What made me want to do this was that as social media was such a large part of my day work wise, it was getting harder than ever to feel like I was not being constantly interrupted. I was feeling bombarded with work, news and mostly, a whole lot of spam at all times and add to that a stream of ig likes and comments scrolling through my screen, I felt like I was drowning trying to keep up with staying on top of this and all the usual work.
When I finally reached the point where I was close to panicking every time a message notification came though because I felt I had to answer NOW (I will say that FB biz pages constantly rating your page based on response time is largely at fault for this), I was at my breaking point. I was feeling like I was getting nothing done, and was irritable at constantly being interrupted. I was beginning to resent everything I was stopping work to do and was in a constant state of irritation.
So I did two things. I closed my email on my computer and shut off all notifications on my phone, requiring that I open an app to see if there are notifications (except phone calls and texts, which still pop up, soundlessly). I also stopped reading my email when I first wake up. I do my morning routine, and then I sit down at my desk with time to answer anything I need to get to. I close everything and a few hours later, open the email to check it.
Doing these two small changes has made a world of difference in my mental state and my productivity. I felt calmer within hours of the red dots going away and I no longer stop work to stare at a spam email that i just delete. Of course, I also can absolutely still obsessively check things if I’m in the mood, I simply have to open the app.