Chris Hannah

Reducing Interruptions


I can’t quite say if this is a temporary phase I’m going through right now, since I’ve done something similar before. But recently I’ve been slowly reducing the ways in which my devices can interrupt and distact me.

I experimented with email services to help distinguish important emails, forwarded them all to the one address, and created some basic filtering/sorting rules. On top of that, I’ve turned off notifications for email and decidew to check it only a couple times a day, if that.

With social media, I haven’t switched off notifications completely, but I do have some filters on those. They seem to be working well, although I can see myself tuning that a bit in the future.

As for other notifications on my devices, I have a system where if I receive a notification that annoys me, I turn them off for that app entirely. Similarly to what I did when experimenting with my email system, by reducing the number of annoying and distracting notifications, they become much more useful, and have a bigger signal to noise ratio.

I’ve also been leaving do not disturb on for long periods of time, and purposely leaving my phone somewhere so I’m not distracted. I must admit, I’ve found it to be rather refreshing.

Maybe this is just a temporary phase I’m going through right now, but when I think about it, I do think there is a value in treating your phone (and other devices) more as tools, and not a life support device designed to be attached to you at all times.