5 Surprising Ways That Shutting Off My Phone Notifications Saved my Sanity

February 2, 2021 1 By EngineerMommy

Many of us are so connected to our devices and screens all day long. However, have you ever wondered whether you are too attached to your technology? Well a week ago, I was feeling quite overwhelmed by everyday life and I decided to do an experiment. I shut off all push notifications from my phone. Even though the thought of doing this was admittedly scary, the result was incredibly eye-opening! 

First, let me state that not only did I have multiple push notifications to my phone from various apps, but I also had a FitBit watch synced to it. This watch sent all those push notifications right to my wrist… several times an hour, all day long. It was a lot of notifications, largely from Instagram but also from Facebook, Messages, Pinterest, Business Email, and other apps.

So what exactly happened when I shut off all notifications for a week? (They are still turned off as of the writing of this article and I have no current plans to turn them back on.) 

  1. I found that I had a much longer attention span. Without my phone or watch alerting me multiple times per hour, I was able to easily focus on other tasks, like projects around the house or writing blog posts, for longer periods of time.
  2. I realized 99% of messages are not that important. Whether it’s a text message from a friend or an Instagram notification of a new follower, it can wait. I don’t need to be distracted 20 times per hour. I’m not on call.
  3. I was able to more fully engage with my social media platforms when I did decide to open the app and set aside some time to catch up. Rather than being pulled into the apps by random notifications throughout the day, I was choosing when and for how long I would devote my attention to various apps.
  4. I felt much less connected to my phone and watch. This gave me a newfound freedom and sense of autonomy over my own day. It was really incredible. The whole day felt lighter in a way. This has definitely resulted in lower stress levels. 
  5. I found that I was in control of my technology more than it was in control of me. I transitioned from being a reactive social media user to an intentional one – and the difference was remarkable.

If you’d like to try your hand at shutting off phone notifications, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started:

  1. Start by turning off notifications that are not important, such as weather alerts and notifications from game apps.
  2. Next turn off notifications from apps that are important to you but not personal to you. An example would be a podcast notification.
  3. Finally, turn off all social media notifications and messages notifications. Begin by turning off notifications for an hour at a time and work your way up to a full day or more!

I hope my experience inspires you to take more control over your technology and gives you the motivation to shut off notifications (at least for some of the time.)

Disclosure: Engineer Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For additional details, please see our full Disclosure Policy. Any link may be an affiliate link. All opinions are exclusively my own.