2017’s only resolution

I don’t usually put a list of resolutions for the new year as I believe in starting whatever someone’s put his mind to, immediately “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.” and I think it may turn into a self-accusation if you failed to commit on these resolution on the first few days of the year.

But since it is the time when most people share theirs, I would like to share something I did pay my attention to earlier this year, which might be helpful in your 2017 resolutions.

 

With the floods of information mainly coming through our notifications center, it’s hard not to have a quick look to what that notification is. But having to do that so many times a day doesn’t only make you irritated, but it steals your attention away.

It’s not about having a look, it is about limiting those so you don’t receive them in first place as most of what we get can wait and do not need to steal our attention at a time of the sender’s choice. Let it be a service, an app or anything has the freedom to invade your daily routine at any time.

 

What I did one day is that I questioned every notification I got: is it necessary? Does it need an immediate action or it can wait? Even if you are a type of person who ignore the notification when it’s received, at the end it will consume more time when checking the piled ones.

For emails, I didn’t turn immediate push notification for all of them, an hourly fetch is more than enough except my main one since I have already filtered and put so many rules to make the important stuff only able to make it to my inbox. I am subscribed to few newsletters but those don’t need to my immediate attention, so let them reside quietly at my inbox. Even those not-to-be-missed promotions can wait at least till you have a free time and  see them. Missing few good deals? Let it be, your attention is more precious.

The same goes to other apps, it’s not about turning off the notification for each one entirely, but setting them to get only the important stuff.

 

What helped in figuring how many irrelevant or unnecessary notification i receive is when I restored to a new iPhone from my previous one and kept using both. Sometimes when you do that, notifications from all the apps you have stops unless you open the the app to activate them again.

I didn’t notice that most notifications weren’t working but what I did notice is the feeling of how at ease my day was.

Although what made me look more strictly at this is this incident, I started noticing this gradually when I got the Apple watch. By default, – like many smartwatches – it broadcasts every notification you get on your iPhone, into your wrist. While many think it’s easier to take a “glance” to it than pulling your iPhone and checking what the notification is, believe me it’s not when you are with somebody, The notion of looking to your watch means that you are checking the time either to leave or being bored is really comforting, especially when you aren’t with someone who is familiar with smartwatches. This forces you to limit what notification you receive on your watch.

All these social media networks are fighting for your attention. It’s more precious than your actual money for them.

 

Why would this tip be an important resolution for everyone? The floods of information won’t stop or become less. If you didn’t do anything to stop them, they will take your attention which is what you exactly need to achieve any other resolution.