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We miss you! We haven't seen you around in 1 hour!
Like for most of us, opening my computer or phone is stressful. It means either several messages that need my attention, random promotions from products I forgot existed, or simply social media posts piling up. Yuk.
I decided that my mental health was more important, so I turned the big switch off. I went to my settings and put all my devices in a permanent Do Not Disturb mode. After a month of trying this, I'm not necessarily less anxious or stressed, but…
My digital actions have more purpose
Before the switch, I'd open my phone to check on a conversation to quickly find myself doom scrolling through memes. Or vice versa, really — sometimes our intention is to look at memes.
But now it’s like opening the fridge looking for a snack and seeing the perfect snack rather than dozens of mediocre ones.
Instead of letting my Slack messages come to me, I choose a time of the day where checking Slack makes more sense.
I enter the flow state more easily
I have tried a few apps to block distractions, but nothing comes close to being able to naturally enter flow state (when you have amazing focus on your work or creative endeavor) than simply doing what I feel like doing. No banner on my screen or sound in my head can tell me to stop.
There are other factors, of course, but when you already have many thoughts invading your head at all times, isn't it better to remove any possibility of becoming infected with more?
I miss some things
I miss the serendipity of engaging in conversations or social media updates as they happen. But this is also an excuse to carve out specific times to catch up.
I miss having fewer surprises. It can be a bit jarring to see no notification just to open my work chat and have 10 things I need to look at. 😛
You should give it a shot
While it's not for everyone, you too can gain a lot more agency by having more control over what gets thrown on your digital face.
If you're not ready to turn off all your notifications, do yourself a favor and at least try it with the apps you know are controlling you more than you control them. You'll be surprised by the results. ✌️