Turning Off Notifications Isn't The Best Way To Fight Stress

posted by Jeff Angelo -

I just was in a meeting today and it was interrupted frequently by "dinging" or "buzzing" as smartphones notifications hit each user's phone.  I am not being critical -  I also have become addicted to notifications, particularly because I have an Apple Watch that instantly displays the most important notifications.

When I check my phone, I find that I MUST clear ALL notifications immediately -  I can't stop at just one app.

I don't consider myself stressed by notifications -  I think I LOVE stimulation, BUT I can see how people COULD "voluntarily" stress themselves out.

Do notifications constantly buzzing on your phone create stress in your life? If so,  the simple solution would be to just turn them off, right? 

Turns out, not so much.

According to research from Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight, receiving notifications just three times a day is more effective than getting them immediately, once an hour, or not at all.

The research shows that the average person gets between 65 and 80 notifications per day.  In the study, the people who received all of their notifications, none of their notifications, and even the people who received them once an hour had no reduction in the levels of stress, and felt equally unhappy, interrupted, and non-productive.

But the group who received their notifications at 9am, 3pm, and 9pm felt more productive, positive, and in control.

I was drawn to this strategy because it reminded me of a methodology I employed after reading the Tim Ferriss "batch" approach toward emails. Ferriss has an auto-reply that informs emailers that he only checks and answers emails twice-a-day.  That dispels the expectation of an immediate response and keeps Ferriss from stressing.

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