Many of us are worried about missing a phone call or replying to a text that we became hypersensitive for notifications. Especially when you have a highly 'texetive' (talkative over text - It's my term) supervisor, boss or college that you cannot ignore.

Robert Rosenberg, assistant professor of philosophy at Georgia Tech University, examined why we think our smartphones are buzzing when, in reality, they don't — already back in 2016. That was three years ago, look at your right know: notifications probably built into every portable electronic device surrounding. You can read about Rosenberg's study at Academy Minute.

I'm not going to cover the phenomenon, but give it a try to address the effect and habits it caused in our life. I felt enslaved to this higher self; that never sleeps, that interrupts me in everything I do during the day, without respect on my private life nor my sleep cycle. In conclusion, It worked for me so well that I no longer reach out for my pocket randomly, and probably you won't too.


What are notifications?

  1. the act or an instance of notifying
  2. a written or printed matter that gives notice

according to Merriam-Webster. According to me: notifications are aggressive, attention-hungry little multi-sensory pins without holistic regard to your schedule. (They're not all evil after all!) As an iOS user over eleven years, it came a long way with the initial release of the Notification Center with iOS 5 in October 2011. It seems to me, that tech-heads did put too much cherry on top since then.


My solution

Use it for what it is — In other words, the center for your notifications.
Turn vibration off. Trust me for a week!

That was simple right? The next and most crucial thing:

You as a finite, tiny dust particle in this universe, the most valuable asset you have is your attention. Gary Vee can talk your head off about the importance of it. Attention = the act or state of applying the mind to something (Thanks Merriam again!) Therefore, anytime you use your brain capacity to something else that you want or need to, you are giving away this precious resource for what? For the unmissable deals. For a hilarious meme sent by your best friends. For the lazy coworker who was on his/her phone when you had the briefing.

You are in control. Yes, even at the end of the corporate food chain, you are mature enough to schedule and know when you have time for something or not.

Plan, communicate why you are doing this, and allocate a specific time (or several time slots) during the day for getting through your notifications: messages, deals, and whatsoever.


Here's how you can do it

Look at your apps and define three categories.
I'm a huge fan of traditional thin crust Italian pizza so my analogy based on the extra topping a novice would put on a Margherita:
1. Parmesan
2. Chili
3. Pineapples

Let only the relevant channels ship their goods in, and use 'Do Not Disturb' mode as a killswitch — It puts everything into the Notification Center when turned on.

Settings > Notifications > *

1. Parmesan — setting applies for the most important apps
(I turned off Badges on eMail apps. Everyone will get a reply, don't panic.)

2. Chili — setting for the nice-to-have-delivered apps

3. Pineapples — they don't fit well on a pizza, ask any Italian!

In the end, your application list should look like this:
Deliver Quietly — Thanks!

Hold on, one last thing:

Settings > Accesibilty > Touch > Vibration OFF

I did this change three months ago, and my phantom buzz disappeared. I feel more and more conscious of how I spend my time. And this way I can show respect to my family and friends. Respect my work, which became faster and efficient, because I can manage the most significant procrastinator: myself. Nietzsche would probably say it's harder than managing a junior team member, but let's have that topic for another blog post.

I wish you can implement this principle in your life and that it will put you in control of your attention. Give it a try, you have more to gain than lose.