Time to put a pin in it!

"Squirrel!"

Who doesn’t feel their chest clench each and every time they hear the sound of 'ding' or see an app's vibrant red circle? Even when I see the beautiful image I created above, the red circle increases my heart rate and I feel palpitations coming on. I can't be surprised why I feel on 'edge' whenever I am around any of my devices.

Is this digital anxiety just an issue for me?

I am going to be so bold as to say no. The anxiety caused by our digital devices is a common experience. 

When making an effort to get into a creative flow, I turn off the notifications icon so I won’t be distracted by the ding and zing of colour as I work. It was a wonderful trick that Ilise Benun shared with me back in 2014 and I have always used it as a non-distraction tool since. 

See below, it's the top right corner 3 bulleted list lines is the notification centre. When you ALT-CLICK on it, you easily turn on and off the do not disturb.

You can also adjust right in the settings below.

settings do not disturb.jpg

The reality of our immediate connection culture, there are some notifications that are important, and an all or nothing approach doesn't always apply. These days, the more I think about it, there are some things I do want to be notified about, just not everything.

So I am here to remind you that you have the power to choose what is worthy of your attention.

"DING!"

This sound has begun to really irritate me. With the 'ding' each notification makes on my computer my attention is drawn away from what I am working on, and also seems raises my blood pressure. Add in my computer's latest glitch where the sound of the ding and banner showing up not syncing. It's this 5-10 seconds that not only distracts me but keeps me from quickly getting back to my task at hand. 

With an average of 50 emails coming in a day, the time adds up. It's not just the time of the notification but how it disrupts my focus and the effort it takes to get back to where my head was at. In fact, I get so turned around my mental effort increases to simply remember what it was I was doing. So much so, I fall into grabbing my phone and checking Instagram, thinking I need a real mental break which honestly is just another way to procrastinate.

One of the reasons I value the myWeek so much is how it sits quietly on my desk, and I can easily refer to it to get back on track. There are no irritating sounds and I can bold or cross off what I choose to.

So I had my own mini aha moment and chose to share with you today.

You CAN change your notification settings for each and every app individually. My screen grabs are MAC based - but I am sure that the PC world has its own settings you can dig into.

Removing all red circle icon notifications and every single sound notification is as easy as clicking OFF the Badge app icon.

Do you decide when you dig into a platform? 

Do you decide your focus?

Are you giving away control to someone else?

Your inbox. You should be the one deciding how often your inbox should be refreshed. Not only did I change the refresh time but I also chose to only see mail notifications in the notification bar - so I can quickly check what came in when I choose, and even better... I turned OFF all sound notifications for new emails.

Each time you react to a notification, you are giving away your power to choose. You can put the power back in your hands with the simplest of steps, turning off notifications. The thing about FOMO is that it's giving your power over to fear. You don't miss out on your life when you are the one in control of it.

Stop allowing distractions to become the gatekeepers of your life.

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