Are you getting too many pings?


This article focuses in on the example of the app icon showing a red dot or a number of unread messages. Or course there are many other types of notifications. Sound, vibrate, the flashing light at top of phone (with varying colours), the lock screen notification, the notifications bar, etc etc.

I love you 'quiet' (including visually) my phone is relative to what I was once accustomed to. Now when it pings me I know there is a good chance it's something I want to see right now.

And there are some notifications I choose to leave on my notifications screen all day as they show a preview of an inspiring personal or group message. And I have space to hear that signal because I have shut most of the noise off.

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
Whenever someone shows me their phone, and I see their email icon with something like 5,736 unread emails, I experience a momentary panic attack about all the unprocessed inputs. :eek: :D
Unread? Wow, that may be worse than unprocessed. At least if someone reads the email and leaves it in the inbox, they've put some amount of attention on deciding if it's meaningful.

Most email programs do not encourage processing to zero. They emphasize read versus unread, rewarding the user for reading but not processing. Many of them also encourage users to treat the inbox as a to do list, with flagging and starring. And I still chuckle at my Outlook for Mac, which displays "All done for the day" when I empty my inbox. Apparently I can ignore my lists of predefined work and start my weekend on Friday morning. It's a battle between Outlook's programmers and my work ethic. I just had my second cup of coffee, which tilts the odds toward my work ethic.


I love the following feature of my email system: it notifies me only when I receive a new email from a selected sender. Currently I have 5 such senders defined.
Yes I set that up for work email by creating rules in Outlook

Dave Edwards

I have been on a journey to reduce distractions and inputs. I have turned off almost all of my notifications. I’d rather look at my messages on my schedule rather than someone wants to put something in my face.

My family, close friends, and key business partners have my private phone number. When a call (or text) arrives from one of them, I will pick it up unless I’m on a call or in a meeting.

I have also been reducing the number of inputs coming at me (ie Slack).



I can still remember everything about the hospital room when I finally turned of every notification on my phone - no text, phone, email, Facebook - nothing. I was prepping for a stem cell transplant and truly nothing else in my life was more important at that moment. And then recovering took every bit of concentration I had for a long while.
When I finally decided to turn some notifications back on, I took that decision very seriously. And I absolutely despise the badge bit of notifications and only have that on for phone and text, neither of which are overwhelming in my world.
Even now that I'm back to my life full time and priority clarity isn't as starkly obvious, I stay aware of how much pings use my available energy for a day and continue to remember what I've learned.
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