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Turning Off Your Notifications Doesn't Boost Productivity!

We live in a distracted world ...



The combined wisdom of many of the productivity gurus out there is that turning off all the notifications on your computer and phone will help to boost productivity. After trialling this for the past month I have to disagree ...

After trialling turning off my notifications for a month, I don't feel it will boost productivity!

After trialling turning off my notifications for a month, I don't feel it will boost productivity!

copyright: antoniodiaz / 123rf stock photo

The idea behind their suggestion is that we live in a distracted world. Therefore, the fewer distractions we have, the better we will be at concentrating on our work. Practically speaking what that entails is reducing things that pull our attention away from the work we are doing.

"Every time our phone pings or computer notifications come up we become distracted!"

It's a simple idea that does make logical sense, so I thought I would give this a go and diligently turned off all my notifications. Initially, I felt a sense of relief that I wasn't being disturbed and could get on with the task at hand.

For a short period of time, it worked, Then I came across a stumbling block. When not specifically dedicated to a task I would check my phone more often. After noticing this I pondered the reasons why.

It turns out it is a combination of things:

  1. Firstly, it is the big fear of missing out. What is going on that I may be missing on Facebook, on WhatsApp groups and so forth? It sounds silly to even me but it is a genuine feeling that I found when discussing this with others that resonated, so I have come to the conclusion it is a 'thing'.

  2. Secondly, am I missing out on an important text from my mum or partner? What happens if I have missed it? You could say they would call me if important which is true. My phone is on silent though most of the time, as I'm with clients and delivering training, so texting is the main way they contact me during the day.

  3. Thirdly, why force myself to be without the usual notifications when I'm not concentrating? I actually enjoy chatting with others and that includes networking on social media which does result in finding new clients.

  4. So, in conclusion, the benefits of turning off notifications for me are negligible.

If I really want to concentrate on a task, simply turning off the phone for a set period time and placing it out of reach actually works for me. I would be interested in hearing what works for you? Do you like or loathe notifications?

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to learn of better ways to boost productivity then do give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as a professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in business and personal life.

This has led me to productivity and how I can be the best I can by devouring hundreds of blogs and books on the subject and practising meditation and mindfulness techniques. Combined, this has helped me understand what needs to be done to improve the performance of processes and more importantly you.

If you would like to know how I can help you do call me!


01858 414226