I follow a few basic rules for managing notifications on my smartphone, such as allowing phone calls and text messages, calendar and reminder notifications, and fitness-related notifications in moderation. I disable notifications for shopping apps, email, social media apps (except for messages), games, and banks/financials, and only enable work-related apps during certain times of the day.
Below is my guide for how to avoid Distractions by changing your Notifications on your phone.
❌ Start by Deleting Apps You Don’t Need
The first thing you should do is delete any apps you don’t need on your phone. I often have to to do this myself, since I sometimes forget to remove apps from my phone that I’m not using. How do you determine that?
Ask yourself these 5 questions:
- Do I need this app to complete my work?
- Do I need this app to complete personal tasks?
- Does this app provide essential information?
- Is this app necessary for the safety of myself or others?
- Does this app provide more value than distraction?
📱Smart Phone Notifications
Next, I often will comb through my iPhone notifications, and ask myself “do I need to receive notifications for this?” or “is there a better way to receive notifications?”
There are a few basic rules I follow:
- Phone calls and text messages are allowed
- Calendar and Reminder Notifications are allowed.
- Shopping apps are not allowed - if any notifications need to be generated, they should be sent to my email.
- Email notifications are disabled - I will only check my email 1-3 times a day (check out my article on how I do this: ) and because I plan on checking my email, there is no need to get notifications.I Cleaned up My Email - Gmail Zero Inbox
- Social Media apps are not allowed except for messages: This one is the most important, since these apps are DESIGNED to distract you. How to do this: In Instagram, for example, you can allow notifications, but disable everything except for messages from other people. However if you still get distracted and roped into social media apps, DELETE THEM! You can always use a computer to access these apps if you are worried about missing messages.
- Games are not allowed: I don’t have any games on my phone. If you do, you should disable the notifications.
- Banks/Financials are disabled - I also don’t have notifications for these, if any notifications need to be generated, they should be sent to my email as well.
- Work related apps (Teams, Outlook, etc.) are only certain times of the day - I usually have these only enabled when I’m at work, otherwise they are disabled.
- Fitness related are allowed in moderation - I find it helpful to get alerts to stand up, or motivation to hit my step/exercise goal for the day.
- Any other apps are disabled.
👌🏻 Why This is Important
It is important to not have too many notifications on your phone because it can help you stay focused on the task at hand. Having too many notifications can make it difficult to concentrate and can be a major distraction. It can also be overwhelming to receive too many notifications, as your attention can be taken away from the task you are trying to accomplish. By limiting the notifications you receive on your phone, you can create an environment that helps you focus and be more productive.
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