Wisdom//

5 Ways to Find Peace in a Land of Notifications

Start by creating two hours of disconnection each day — one hour at work and one at home.

Andrii Zastrozhnov/Getty Images
Andrii Zastrozhnov/Getty Images

Ding. Instagram Notification. Ding. CNN Update. Ding. Email. Ding. Text. Ding. Facebook Like. It simply does not stop. Even when we put on music through our phones, the beat is interrupted by the DING. In a world that’s full of people who don’t sleep, constant notifications, instant reminders, and an expectation that you are always on and always connected, how do you find peace and time for yourself? The honest truth? We don’t. 

And so, if you truly are done with it, if you’ve decided that you are going to make sure you find peace in your life and peace at work, here are five ways to find that quiet in a world with so much noise. 

  1. Remove Your Work Email From Phone. Over Labor Day Weekend, I decided enough was enough. My fingers were addicted to the constant email scroll, even when I wasn’t intentionally trying to check my email. I removed all of my email accounts from my phone. I COULD login if I wanted to, but I’d have to go through my phone browser and who’s going to do that unless it’s an emergency? When I click the mail option on my iPhone, the option to connect my email comes up. Although it’s been tricky at times, overall, I’ve found myself able to better disconnect, be more present in my personal life, and actually be better at my job when I’m intentionally in email mode.
  2. Create Two Hours of Disconnection Each Day. My brother is a consultant. He works long hours, travels for work, and always has meetings, conference calls, and is constantly plugged in. He realized there was never a time when he wasn’t on his phone and wanted to find a better way. He just implemented a new personal rule, he disconnects for two hours each day where he completely shuts his phone. He does this for one hour at work and one hour at home. He evaluates his schedule each day to find the most appropriate disconnection hours. When he’s home, the disconnection forces him to do a cross-world puzzle, read the paper, or simply relax on the couch. The best part?  He’s creating time for himself. 
  3. Hold Your Friends Accountable. When you are at dinner or a Sunday brunch with friends make a new rule. You only use phones if it’s an emergency and responding to a random work email isn’t an emergency. Tell your friend to stop scrolling on Instagram in the middle of your lunch. If you aren’t going to use the time together to personally connect, why are you spending time together in the first place? Phones away, they don’t need to sit next to our plates while we eat. 
  4. Manage Your Team’s Communication Expectations. I know that your ability to set boundaries and expectations varies based on your position and ranking within an organization but small changes DO matter and they typically trickle down from the top. Let’s say you have an assistant. Challenge yourself to stop communicating with her after a certain time or tell her, “I don’t expect you to answer your emails between 6pm – 9am. If it’s an emergency, I’ll text or call you. You can also tell clients right as you sign them, I communicate between 9am – 6pm on weekdays, you can text me if it’s urgent. If I get a text and it’s not urgent, let’s plan on connecting the following business day. Think about small changes you can make now that will have a trickle-down effect, even if it’s only affecting one person – that might be a bigger deal than you think.
  5. Regulate Your Social Media Time. We all scroll our faces off all day long – this isn’t knew. We did it with Facebook and now we’re doing it with Instagram – we’re addicted. We want to know who liked our posts, who watched our stories, which piece of content performed best, the list goes on. To find peace in a land of social media messages, I do two things. First, I don’t scroll on Instagram or any social media before I go to sleep or the moment I wake up. Basically, no Insta in the bed! We don’t need to over-analyze ourselves or other people before we go to sleep – try relaxing! And next, give yourself social media time limits. I will set the timer on my phone and give myself 30 minutes a day to scroll on social, usually 15 minutes before lunch and 15 minutes in the evening. That’s it. Again, why do we need to spend more time than that on social each day?

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