Directions for turning off “the noise”
Notifications are alerts you receive on your phone or desktop that pop up and create an interruption to your workflow.
They can be badge icons, banners across the top of your screen, or a window that needs to be acknowledged before they’ll go away. On an iPhone, they can also appear in your Notification Center when you swipe down on your screen. Android has a similar notification window as well
You may have them already configured for new text messages, unread emails, updates from applications, phone calls and voicemails. Most of these you don’t need to know about.
Decide what is important enough that you want to be interrupted for. For myself, I allow ONLY text messages & voice messages to show any numbers. I have turned off ALL badges and “pings” to make a noise.
My email still receives email, I just don’t have it notify me. If I WANT to check my email, I click on the app. I’ve gone from checking email regularly to checking it when I want to check it!
How to Turn off Notifications on iPhone
Go into Settings -> Notifications — you’ll see a list of all applications that can be set to send/not send notifications.
To turn off notifications for an app, tap on it and turn off the switch next to Allow Notifications. You’ll know the switch is off when it’s gray and positioned to the left.
You’ll be able to see from the main list of apps whether notifications are Off completely, or if they allow some (or all) types of notifications:
- Alerts: This is where the alerts show up (Lock screen, notification center or banners)
- Sounds: On or Off – I NEVER allow anything to make a sound
- Badges: These are what show the number of how many of something you have. This is how it displays you have 5 text messages, 50 email, or 3 voice mail.
How to Turn off Notifications on Android
Depending on the version of Android you have, there are 2 ways you can stop notifications from a particular app.
Go through Settings to customize your notifications. This method works on everything from Android 5 Lollipop up through Android 10.
Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App notifications.
- You’ll see a list of all apps installed on your Android.
- Tap on any app whose notifications you want to customize.
- You’ll get a list of all types of notifications the app can send.
- Toggle each type of notification on or off as desired.
- For more granular control, tap a notification type and you can change its sound, vibration, and other settings.
- The easiest is to toggle the main switch to block all notifications from that app.
Some apps have extra notifications in their app settings. This is indicated by the Additional settings in the app button. Tap it to access the app’s settings and customize further notifications there.
Minimizing your time in Email
Schedule yourself to only look at email once an hour. At the top of the hour, go online (google “work offline with Gmail” or “work offline with Outlook”) and reply to any urgent emails. Go back offline and then process the messages that have arrived. You can also file, delete and reply to any other messages. Messages you type while you’re offline will automatically be sent when you go back online.
If you feel you can’t *risk* and hour offline due to some VIP clients, work with a trusted coworker or your admin: Have a master rule that you can turn on and off. The rule will say to forward any emails from a particular person(s) to your friend/coworker. It will also keep a copy of the message for you. If an urgent message arrives, your friend can alert you to it and you can go back online. You can trade with them, so they go online at the top of the hour and you go online at the bottom of the hour.
Tricks to Minimizing what goes into your inbox
There are a lot of messages we don’t need to see quickly. Often, we are in a group message or are cc’d. Likely, these can wait to be ready once or twice a day.
To minimize this noise, create a subfolder of your Inbox called CC and another one called Group: You can write a rule that says:
- If you are cc’d on a message to automatically move to the CC folder
- If you’re in a group email (like a distribution group), create a rule that if an email is addressed to that group (email@example.com versus firstname.lastname@example.org) that it gets moved to the Group folder
- Unsubscribe from messages – This is the more challenging as you will have to click on the unsubscribe link often at the bottom of the email. This will take you 10-30 seconds. But consider how many times you’ll get messages over the next year. Just deleting it once will save you
time over the next few months.
- Turn on Focused Inbox if you’re using Outlook – Focused Inbox is a feature built into Outlook that using AI to analyze messages and placing the most important into your “Focused” tab and what it considers less important into the “Other” tab. If it misses something, you simply clic