andrea andre
habitation

A Small Series: Notifications

Tone it down

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, emails, phone calls, Skype messages, text messages... These are just a few triggers that turn our devices into vibrating, twirping, flashing, beeping, popular song at the moment blaring monstrosities.

Working in a technology field typcially means that you are "plugged-in". This also means that you are highly accessible, leaving little room for boundaries and privacy. I got to a point where whenever my phone or computer would make a sound I was checking on whatever update it was, not for importance but because I wanted the notification to go away or to file away or delete whatever it was so it didn't pile up. More often than not, it was nothing important. The notifications were drving me crazy and making me anxious.

I decided to tone it down. 

How often do I purchase a designer handbag? Maybe once a year, from an outlet. Do I need a notification everyday about the latest and greatest handbag from three different designers? No. Turn of the notifications that you know you don't need. I took about a week and focused on all the emails that came into my inbox. I asked myself, how often do I get emails from this company and am I planning to buy anything from them anytime soon? I turned off dozens of subcriptions and now I get maybe 1-2 emails a day about products or services that are actually useful to me.

I have a similar strategy for Social Media. Only follow groups, companies, etc. that you know you wouldn't mind hearing from. If you have friends that post annoying posts but you would like to remain their friend, turn off/down notifications from them. Clean up your feed. If you don't want to see what everyone has to say about a friend's post you commented on, stop the notifications for that post. This will save you a lot of time reading posts that you really don't care about.

For other notifications that relate to Skype, phone calls, and text messages... I can't necessarily turn these off because I have co-workers and clients that contact me through these outlets. I will say, if you are not in heavy development mode turn off your Skype after hours, unless you know you need to be contacted. Answer your phone calls for sure but not when you are in the middle of a family commitment, out to dinner, on a hike with your husband, or some place like a grocery store. Don't be affraid to say I will call you back if you know the matter can wait.

That is it for today folks. I'll have another update for you probably next week.

Posted by Andrea on 07.29.14

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