One month after trying ‘Zero Notifications’ Experiment

The Experiment

Over the last month, I disabled all my notifications on my iPhone, my iPad, and my laptop.

The experiment was enlightening. I realized that I can be happy or even happier without the buzz, ping, and ring. But as my experiment came to an end, I wondered did I really address the root of why I disabled my notifications in the first place?

When I started this experiment, I wanted solitude. I wanted time to meditate, reflect, and ultimately write. I realized that when we start something, we are excited and that excitement drives us prioritize whatever we’re trying. When it starts to becomes a day-to-day the real challenge begins.

What the experiment taught me

By the end of the experiment, I found it more important to control my notifications rather than let my notifications control me. Zeroing my notifications was not the best solution for me because:

Quieting something in the world only makes the solitude temporary. Once we become aware of it again, all those bad habits we were trying to change or suppress come rushing back like a wave. It is not until we completely embrace the noise of life that we can find solitude. 

What will I do next?

I am at square one with all my devices (zero notifications and phones reset back to factory settings). I am carefully selecting which apps I download on each device. I am also carefully selecting which notifications I allow to distract me. After all, everything is my fault. This decision has led me to apply a similar blueprint to all other areas of my life. Being more mindful of this, in the upcoming posts I am going to write about my GTD system and how being more mindful is allowing me to be more productive and ultimately happy with my life.

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