Back in February, I decided to take a three day computer break. I bought myself the boxed set of “Game of Thrones” and stocked up on some exotic curry mixes.
Although I was off the laptop, my smart phone continued to ping, ding, zing, and chime with alerts from my mail.com, Viber, Gmail, SMS and Facebook apps.
I’d respond to these alerts jumping up like a jack rabbit, and fumbling to get my phone out of my bag.
In all honesty, a part of me was feeding my “need to know what’s happening” addiction, yet the other part was furious at being distracted from watching “Game of Thrones”.
Eventually I had enough. I grabbed my phone, went into settings and stopped their appearance on my locked screen and muted their sounds.
I don’t know how long it was before I noticed that the room was quiet, but it was more than just the silence. I was experiencing inner calm.
In not reacting to the sounds of the phone, I felt so relaxed and peaceful.
So one good reason to turn off these sound notifications is to experience more inner calm which will improve your quality of life.
Yes that’s right!
I stopped interrupting myself from being in the present moment.
I wasn’t multitasking.
You’ve probably heard of the term multitasking. It can be defined as performing two or more tasks simultaneously.
Well I’m a genius at cooking and watching “Downtown Abbey” whilst ironing.
So in the case of reacting to the alerts on my smart phone, that’s multitasking too because it’s switching back and forth from one thing to another.
We think multitasking or doing multiple tasks at once is increasing our productivity, but in reality our brains need time to switch from operating in one mode to another.
So in other words, it takes longer to do a number of things at once.
A study conducted in 2001 by Joshua Rubinstein, Jeffrey Evans and David Meyer found this to be the case. Their participants lost significant amounts of time as they switched between multiple tasks and lost even more time as the tasks became increasingly complex.
So another good reason to turn off your sound notifications is to be more productive.
So try this little experiment.
Turn off the notifications on your phone for a month and only check your messages two to three times a day. I promise you will start tuning into the many beautiful moments that create your day, and have much more time to enjoy them.
I know it’s not possible to avoid multitasking all the time, but when it’s some of the time the world becomes a most beautiful and wonderous place to live.
If you know of three friends that are spending a lot of time responding to their phone and looking down and not up, then you are doing them a favour by sharing this with them.
Fiona Craig is a work-life balance coach, business coach, writer, speaker and buy mum who loves helping women become better at juggling career and family life or to create a better work-life balance for themselves by starting a business. Email Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0405 433 217 for a FREE 20 minute, Rapid Results Coaching Session.
Rubinstein, Joshua S.; Meyer, David E.; Evans, Jeffrey E. (2001). Executive Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27(4), 763-797.