Getting rid of notifications
In todays world we are getting spamed with notifications all day long and recently I really felt negatively impacted by that.
For work I have to use a variety of applications that have notifications on by default: Outlook, Skype and Microsoft Teams to communicate with colleages but of course not every customer uses the same chat systems, so I usually also need to run Slack or Matter Most for day to day communications with customers.
On top of that I have my private email and messenger(s). For most people this would be Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and what not, however I never signed up for most of them and have been using Signal Messenger as my mobile messenger as it is much more privacy oriented.
Since I am easily distracted by notifications I have already muted all public channels where possible (I don’t understand how people can even live with their phones near constant vibrating as the pull request and build report channel is getting spammed with notifications no one bothers to check anyway).
However lately this hasn’t been enough for me so a few month ago I decided to disable all notifications both on my PC and phone.
We all know how long it takes as a programmer to recover from an interruption and getting interrupted every 20 minutes really doesn’t boost productivity especially when it’s just outlook informing me that there is a new marketing email I don’t even care about.
I’ve been without notifications for a few month and so far it has worked out great.
With my phone no longer vibrating/flashing with every message/email I receive I pick it up a lot less often and the disabled desktop notifications allow me to really focus on work for extended periods of time.
I even found out that all these chat applications immediately spam you with emails by default if you don’t see the new messages right away.
While I originally found this email spam very irritating (it is possible to turn off) I have come to like it since I now only have one place to check to know if I have missed anything.
If there are no new emails in my “chat spam” folder (where all chat related messages are automatically redirected to) I instantly know that I haven’t received any direct messages or mentions recently without having to check each chat application individually.
I am still available through all messengers I just don’t get active notifications anymore and it has been great for me.