As technology becomes more prevalent in our lives, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of notifications we get on our personal or work devices. In response to this, many people are now looking for ways to make the devices and apps we use fit into our way of doing things instead of us being controlled by them.
Do Not Disturb door hangers are common-place in hotels; we stick them on the door handle when we don't want staff to come in and interrupt whatever it is we're doing. And we can do the same with our electronic devices now too, to stop incoming notifications, announcements and calls. Below, you will find advice on how to make use of these features on several different operating systems:
Focus assist allows you to choose which notifications you see. You can have Focus assist turned off and get every notification from your apps and contacts; or you can select priority only to receive notifications from a customised priority list; or you can hide all notifications except for alarms. You can also go to the Notifications & actions settings page to personalise notifications even further.
Android also allows you to silence your device with Do Not Disturb. This can be quickly turned on by swiping down from the top of your screen and then tap Do Not Disturb. You also set time rules to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb at certain times.
You can turn on Do Not Disturb on iPhones and iPads by going to settings and going to the Control Center. Both options allow you create a schedule if you don’t want to receive any notifications and be disturbed at a certain time
Thanks to technology making our work or studies just a click away, it’s easy to forget the importance of a work/life balance and the need to effectively manage our workload.
Here are some useful features, tools and tips that can help you to address your work/life balance:
Getting alerts at all times of the day can be stressful and distracting. You can use the Do not disturb function on your Apple or Android device to switch off alerts from all apps. If you want to manage this on an app by app basis then you can do this in the settings.
When you have an idea or remember something you need to do, note it down somewhere to look at later. You could use a non-tech method like a post-it or notepad or a tech solution like Google Keep. The Keep mobile app has voice recognition: you can speak the idea into your phone and it’ll take a written note that can be picked up later.
Identify time when you won’t look at your phone. You might find it useful to have no phones in the bedroom so you can go to sleep and wake up without the distraction of technology, or no phones at dinnertime to encourage interactions with family or housemates.
When you get home, for the first 15 minutes do something to take your mind off work and make you happy! If straight after getting home doesn’t work for you, pick a different time that does. This is a technique picked up from readings of positive psychology and mindfulness. The Action for Happiness website provides useful tips and activities that you could consider using for your 15 minutes.
Below are some articles and reports that you may find useful when thinking about how you engage with social media and technology.