Rise Over Run - The Blog


Finding Focus in a Distracted World: How Turning off Notifications Can Help You Win

5 strategies high performance notifications Mar 21, 2023
Phone screen with too many notifications

In today's fast-paced digital world, we're constantly bombarded with electronic notifications from our smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices. These notifications may seem harmless, but they can actually be detrimental to our focus and productivity. Here's how electronic notifications are hindering and blocking our focus, and how turning them off can help break the chains of distractions. 

How notifications impact our focus and productivity: 

  1. They create a constant distraction: Electronic notifications are designed to grab our attention and draw us away from whatever we're doing at the moment. Even if we manage to resist the temptation to check them immediately, they create a constant distraction that can be hard to ignore. This can lead to reduced productivity and difficulty in staying focused on tasks that require deep concentration. 
  2. They cause a sense of urgency: Electronic notifications are often accompanied by sounds or vibrations that make them feel urgent and important. This can cause us to drop whatever we're doing and check the notification immediately, even if it's not urgent or important. This sense of urgency can create a feeling of stress and anxiety, which can further disrupt our focus. 
  3. They lead to multitasking: When we receive electronic notifications, we often feel the need to check them immediately, even if we're in the middle of a task. This can lead to multitasking, which has been shown to be detrimental to our productivity and focus. Multitasking can also lead to unnecessary mistakes and errors. 
  4. They disrupt our flow: When we're working on a task that requires deep concentration, we enter a state of flow where we're completely absorbed in the task at hand. Electronic notifications can disrupt this flow and make it harder for us to get back into it. This often leads to frustration and a lost sense of motivation. 
  5. They reduce our ability to relax: In today's hyper-connected world, we're expected to be available and responsive at all times. Electronic notifications can make it difficult for us to disconnect and relax, which is essential for our mental and emotional well-being. When we're constantly bombarded with notifications, we can't fully relax and recharge, which can lead to burnout and exhaustion. 

So, how can we break the chains of distractions caused by electronic notifications? The answer is simple - turn them off! By turning off notifications, we can reduce the distractions in our lives and regain control over our time and attention. 


How to turn notifications off: 

  1. Identify your biggest sources of distraction: The first step in breaking the chains of distractions is to identify the sources of distractions in your life. Is it social media notifications, email alerts, or text messages? Once you've identified your biggest sources of distraction, you can take steps to turn off notifications for those apps or services. 
  2. Turn off non-essential notifications: Not all notifications are created equal. Some notifications, such as those from your work email or messaging app, are essential and require your attention. However, many notifications are non-essential and can wait until later. By turning off non-essential notifications, you can reduce the number of distractions in your life and focus on the tasks that matter. 
  3. Use Do Not Disturb mode: Most smartphones have a Do Not Disturb mode that allows you to silence notifications during specific times of the day. For example, you can set your phone to enter Do Not Disturb mode during your work hours or when you're trying to focus on a project. This will help you stay focused and productive without being constantly interrupted by notifications. 
  4. Schedule time for notifications: Instead of allowing notifications to interrupt your work throughout the day, schedule specific times to check your email, social media or messaging apps. This will help you stay on track with your work while also staying connected with your friends and colleagues. 
  5. Turn off notifications before bedtime: Research shows that exposure to blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with our sleep patterns. By turning off notifications at least thirty (30) minutes before bedtime, you can reduce the chances of being disturbed by your electronics while you drift off to sleep. 


In addition to turning off notifications, it's important to take regular breaks from technology. This can include taking a walk outside, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in a non-digital hobby. By disconnecting from technology, even for a short period of time, you can recharge your batteries and come back to your work with renewed focus and energy. 


Electronic notifications can be a major hindrance to our focus and productivity. By turning them off, we can reduce the distractions in our lives and regain control over our time and attention. So, take a step back from the constant barrage of notifications and give yourself the gift of focus and productivity. Your mind (and your sanity) will thank you! 


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