The Life Without Overwhelm Show: Notifications

productivity May 30, 2021
The Life Without Overwhelm Show: Notifications

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Every Wednesday, I go live on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube with a fresh episode of The Life Without Overwhelm Show. In this episode, I discuss notifications.

Let's talk about living a life without overwhelm. I want to talk to you about notifications on this thing. Our beloved smartphones. Our beloved smartphones are kind of like an appendage. They go with us everywhere now. But we have to be the human beings. We have to be in control of these devices.

And one of the first things I'm going to teach you about is notifications. Now I am not a zero notifications guy. I know there's a lot of productivity guys out there. There are people who are Uber productive. And they are saying not only should you have zero notifications, but you should have your phone on do not disturb. I don't subscribe to that. What I subscribe to is using your smartphone, you as the human being, using your smartphone to serve you instead of you serving it. Make sense.

You want it to be, I know this is not politically correct, you want the technology to be the slave and not you. I see a lot of people, a lot of people who are slaves to their technology. Whenever their phone bings, zooms, swishes, dings, whatever sound it makes, they're like, "Oh, I got to check it. I gotta check it." Know you don't. You're not that important. I'm not that important. It can wait.

So, one of the things I tell my clients is to do a notification cleanse. A notification cleanse, is you go through all your notifications on all your devices. And you go through each one and go, "okay, is this notification serving me? Or is this notification distracting me"? And you get to choose.

Now I don't have social media notifications turned on. I don't have email turned on. I'm going to tell you which ones I do have turned on in a few minutes. But you need to ask yourself, does it serve you? Or does the notification distract you?

Now I can't speak for my Android friends. I love you guys. But I don't have an Android. I'm an iPhone guy. Now on the iPhone, you can deliver notifications quietly. Now what that means, it doesn't mean to come whispering on your phone ago, "we're here". What it means is you turn the sound off. In other words, it can pop up on your lock screen. But if you're not looking at your phone, you don't know you have a notification. So maybe you could think about doing that. Does it serve you, does it distract you?

Now, let's talk about, to give you an idea, make it really practical, here are some of the notifications I have enabled. Now I'll tell you, as I was making this list, I was going through my notifications. I'm like, "nope, turn that one off, turn that one off". S o I did a notification cleanse as I was preparing for this live. Yes, I do prepare for these lives.

So weather apps. And I will admit, I'm Mark Struczewski, and I'm a hoarder of weather apps. I think I have five weather apps. Don't judge me, okay? I love weather apps, especially when there's a storm coming in, and like some of the apps will tell me storms are coming in. Some of the apps won't tell me the storm is coming in. So the weather apps are not consistent. But I am a hoarder of weather apps. And I should go to weather apps anonymous, WAA. Just saying, this is what I do.

Amazon and Best Buy if I have an existing order. Now on the iPhone, you can go in there and turn notifications off. So like right now, at this moment in time of our life, my life, and your life, I have no orders pending on Amazon and Best Buy. So those notifications are turned off. Why? I don't want the pitch notifications. "Hey, we got 4k TVs on sale!", "Hey, we got this". I don't care. I turn those notifications off unless I have it delivered pending.

Now, something that is delivered quietly is PayPal and Stripe, which is whenever I get paid. Now when you're not used to getting paid, you kind of like hearing the sound from PayPal or from Stripe. I got paid! But after a while, it gets kind of annoying. So I'm actually considering turning those off, because I'm gonna get an email anyways.

Calendly. Here's another one I got a question mark next to it. Now Calendly is the app that my coaching clients and my podcast guests use to book appointments. Now, as I was preparing for this episode, this show, I asked myself, "do I really need a push notification when someone books a time in my calendar?" It's not like they're booking like three minutes away. As a matter of fact, you can't book any same-day appointments. They're always the next day. So I'm going to probably turn that off.

Another app I use is DMinder. DMinder is an app, because vitamin D from the sun, or I'm sorry, sun on your skin, helps your body make vitamin D which boosts up your immune system, which helps keep you from getting sick. And if you do get sick, you get over it quicker. DMinder not only tracks your sun but also warns you when you've been out too long. Like I was out earlier today and I was reading my book and of a sudden, I heard the sound that was the app that was telling me, "Hey, you've been out in the sun enough", and I went inside. Because if I didn't have that, I could sit out there for another hour and be like red as a lobster.

Duolingo. Now Duolingo is the app I'm using to learn French. And you may say, "Mark, why do you have that on?" I have done my Duolingo lesson for 418 days in a row. I don't want to miss a day. So I have notifications turned on for Duolingo. So if it's seven o'clock at night, six o'clock at night, and Duolingo goes, "Hey, you haven't done your lesson," it can save my behind because I don't want to start over again. So that's why that one is on.

Also important ones calendar and to-do lists. Really important. If you put something on your calendar and it doesn't alert you, did you put it on your calendar? I'm being facetious, of course. So I will have calendar alerts on and to-do reminders on as well.

And I have messenger apps. Now messenger apps with the exception of iMessage don't have sound. So Facebook Messenger, I don't like Facebook Messenger but everybody's on it.

Notice, no news. As matter of fact, I don't have news apps on my phone. No sports. I don't have sports apps on my phone. No social media, no email.

I can go into a meeting, not that I go to meetings with anyone else but myself in person, and not mute my phone and it doesn't sound like a music box. Let me ask you this. If you were going to a one-on-one meeting with someone, your boss, a client and you forgot to mute your phone, would it be annoying? Would your phone be making a lot of noise? Mine wouldn't do it that much.

For example, DMinder for my vitamin D out in the sun, if I'm not using the app, it doesn't fire a notification off. So I want you to think about this. I want you to do a notification cleanse. I want you to go through all your notifications. Yes, I want you to go through all of them. For every single app. Don't just go, "Ah, I'll just glance at it." No, intentionally. Start at A and work your way down and ask yourself as I did.

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