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  • Writer's pictureChristine Myers Certified VA

Are You Addicted to Checking Notifications? Break the Habit with 5 Steps

Have you been feeling the need to conduct some digital decluttering and wonder how you can remain more focused on what is truly important instead of feeling distracted by too much nonsense? Many business people and entrepreneurs need to break the habit of checking their notifications and phone all throughout the day, simply because they are missing out on life as it happens

If you carefully apply these tips, you will find yourself more relaxed and interested in real life, simply because you’re taking a break from the electronic rat race.

1. Stick to a schedule.

In order to wean yourself from the habit of checking your notifications and phone so much, make a schedule. You can start with fifteen- or thirty-minute increments for checking your email and social media. Once you become better at not getting sucked into time-wasting activities, increase that increment to every 45-minutes, then move up to every hour. 

In addition, also set a 5-minute timer to check and respond to the most important things. If your inbox is full, allot an extra ten- to fifteen-minutes to respond to anything that requires your input. Also, it is a good idea to inform friends, family, and colleagues that you will not be answering their calls and messages as quickly as you did previously so that they do not worry or become anxious.

2. Be sure to shut off push notifications whenever possible.

You are not obligated to be bombarded with interruptions from your social media platforms or with messages that your favorite online podcast has just uploaded a new topic. You can greatly reduce such distractions by shutting off as many push notifications as possible. Go even further by shutting off your email and calendar notifications. If you’re on a schedule for checking email, then notifications are unnecessary. 

3. Remove distracting apps.

Much of your phone usage comes from unconscious habit. Without much thinking, people shift from Instagram to Facebook, then check the weather and texts before playing their favorite game or checking their news headlines. However, if you use only specific necessary apps, then this will reduce the amount of time that is wasted on your phone. Try deleting the apps for social media sites and only use the web browser of your phone or laptop to engage. You’ll reduce time on your phone as apps make it too easy to waste time, even after you finish engaging with your followers. 

4. Keep your device away from your bed.

Your phone does not have to be the last thing you see before going to sleep at night and the first thing you see in the morning. To avoid the trap of looking at your phone too much, try using an old-school alarm clock instead of your phone.

5. Use a smart speaker.

A smart speaker is (for example, Amazon Alexa) valuable because it helps you live a life away from your phone screen. When you have a smart speaker attached to your network via Bluetooth technology, this will prevent you from having to use your phone to turn on podcasts or music; instead, just say your choices to the smart speaker and go about your day, listening and learning instead of being sucked into your phone. 

The longer your phone is out of your hands, the more productive you’ll become, and these tips are just the beginning of your lessened dependence on technology. You may even discover that your days feel longer because you’re not distracted with your phone or notifications any longer.

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