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Our devices can now notify us of the most minimal of happenings.

I’m amazed when I see friends’ and co-workers’ phones pop up with the latest likes, pins, posts, nudges and nags. Add in the automatic notification of emails, tweets and other social media updates, and I wonder how some people ever do anything but look at their phones all day.

There is no faster way to become a slave to your devices and feel that you must always be “on” than to have notifications popping up all the time.

On my phone, I get 3 types of notifications:

  1. Text messages
  2. Twitter direct messages
  3. Travel alerts

That is it and I love it.

Besides minimizing the amount of distractions throughout the day, this restriction means that when something does pop up on the screen, I’ll take the time to look at it because it must be something important.

Technology empowers us to decide when and where we work, so we should be the ones making the decisions – not our devices.

When I have a moment of quiet, I’ll pull down my latest email and go through it. I’ll look at Instagram to see what people have said about my photos. I’ll surf the networks to see what everyone is up to. The key is that I decide when to do this, not my device. This way I can enjoy wherever I am and whoever I’m with and not be distracted.

Take some time today to look at the settings on your phone and tablets to make sure you only have the most important of notifications enabled. In addition to saving your sanity, it’ll save those precious battery levels that we are always looking to maximize. Plus, you’ll enjoy life much more.

Let me know how it goes.


Photo credit: mr_t_in_dc

C.C. Chapman is a leader in the online and social media marketing space. He is an avid photographer, author and keynote speaker. His most recent book (with Ann Handley) Content Rules, is a best seller that explains how companies can create remarkable blogs, podcasts, webinars, ebooks and more. C.C. is an advocate who speaks about building passionate consumer communities, and the strategic values of content-based marketing. He is the host of Passion Hit TV and the founder of Digital Dads. C.C. is a graduate of Bentley University and happily lives in the woods outside of Boston with his loving family.
  • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

    This is one of the top 3 anybody who wants to massively productive can do. I hope everybody heads your advice. I’d even consider adding turn off your phone or ignoring it more when you are trying to be productive. I tell my wife to call me twice if it is important. For everybody else – if I am doing something that I’d like to really finish (like writing this comment for example) it can go to voicemail. Since I am not a heart or brain surgeon I have no emergency phone calls.

    • Brian D. Meeks

      Patrick, I’ve turned off my phone on occasion and found that my word count does improve. It isn’t just the calls that can break up my writing, it is the fun stuff that I seem to want to procrastinate with, while I should be writing.

    • http://www.cc-chapman.com/ C.C. Chapman

      I agree, I leave my phone in another room if I really need to get something done. They are not allowed in the dining room or the bedroom either. Just not needed.

  • http://stevegarfield.com Steve Garfield

    Reading this while taking a break from working. Popped up on Facebook. ;-)

    • http://www.cc-chapman.com/ C.C. Chapman

      Ha Ha!

  • Brian D. Meeks

    I arrived at the same conclusion recently, turned off almost all my notices, and did feel much less stressed. It is good advice.

    • http://www.cc-chapman.com/ C.C. Chapman

      Glad you liked it and found that it was productive for you.

  • http://waldowsocial.com DJ Waldow

    “The key is that I decide when to do this, not my device.” – BINGO.

    • http://www.cc-chapman.com/ C.C. Chapman

      Glad this resonated with you because it is something more people need to embrace.