No one ever starts a business to have less time, less money, and more stress. Yet so many distractions get in the way of our focus and productivity, and one of the biggest things to limit is unnecessary notifications.

From social media and email notifications to text messages and appointment reminders, you probably find you’re getting notifications from everywhere.

Notifications reduce your productivity, as they create constant distractions and can make you procrastinate, rather than focus on things you need to be doing.

Notifications play a big part in the loss of productivity when you’re switching between tasks.


If you want to increase productivity, this one is a no-brainer.

Turn off as many of your notifications as you can and be selective with any new apps when accepting push notifications.

So why do we let alerts ping us all day long?

Quartz at Work suggests that our propensity to have notifications turned on is due to FOMO, or “fear of missing out”. Only you know if that’s the reason you keep alerts turned on, pinging you all day long.

For me personally, everything is on my phone, and on more than one occasion my eight-year-old (bless her little cotton socks) has “misplaced” my phone and I’ve had to hunt high and low to find it. Needless to say, the fear and anxiety that went along with that, well, I’m sure you can relate!

Seriously limit notifications

I don’t want notifications popping up and dinging on my phone constantly, so I limit them to appointment reminders only. And if I really don’t want to be disturbed, I put my phone on Do Not Disturb for a selected period of time, so I don’t get phone calls or texts.

If you feel like FOMO may be playing a part in your constant desire for notifications, you need to figure out a way to get over that.

Try going cold-turkey and have a device-free day or two. I’m sure you’ll discover more benefits than disadvantages. And to ensure you still get those important emails from your boss or VIP clients, set up some custom notifications in Gmail or Outlook.

So go ahead: turn those alerts off and look forward to a more productive, happier, and more relaxed day without the constant interruptions that notifications create.

Treena Pitham is a certified online business manager, executive virtual assistant, and owner of Octopus Admin. She helps business owners find answers to business administration questions and streamline their workload so they can focus on higher-value tasks. Read her last article Email, a time waster? Tame it with the 4 D’s.