Does this sound familiar? You’re trying to focus on something important but your phone won’t let you – you don’t want to miss those alerts, after all. Even if that means swiping through annoying ads or status updates of your least favorite Facebook contacts. If you made an off-hand comment on YouTube or Twitter, expect reminders from complete strangers out there to correct you. WhatsApp jokes, anyone? They’re probably the worst.
If you’ve decided that you need a way out of information overload, here are a few easy ways to do it.
1. Use Two Different Smartphones
The simplest and most obvious thing is to restrict your social media and messenger activities on just one device. Even though it won’t delete those messages, at least it spares your primary phone to do what you truly enjoy. Read on the Web, play games, set reminders and make phone calls without worrying about social media tidbits.
Of course, having a two-phone approach requires a little self-discipline. You should resolve to never download unnecessary apps on the primary phone.
2. Impose Time to Time Shutdown of Notifications
If you are at work or going to sleep, it might be useful to shut down all notifications except incoming calls and SMS. Both on Android and iOS, it doesn’t take very long to disable the lock-screen notification alerts for all apps. Disabling and reenabling them are easy from “Settings.”
3. Block Push Notifications for Selective Apps
Android’s default way of blocking notifications for selective apps is rather tedious, as it has to be done one by one. If you want to block push notifications for selective apps at the same time, download and install “Switch Off Notifications.” It is really easy to use.
4. Schedule Your Texts
If you must keep track of status updates on one of those messaging apps, try to schedule the messages. A third-party Android app called “Do it Later” does it very nicely. In the App Store there is a similar app called “Scheduled.” Certain smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S9 have built-in functionality to schedule texts for later.
5. Transfer Notifications from Mobile Apps to Your Computer
If you are someone who doesn’t mind receiving app notifications on a computer, consider transferring notifications from your phone to a Windows PC/Linux/Mac. There is a useful, clutter-free app called Airdroid that helps you do it in very few easy steps.
For Windows 10 users there is an even easier option with Cortana. It helps you sync notifications on the computer with your phone from “Settings.”
6. Get a Unified Messaging App
If you’re someone who must simply text at all times, consider going for a unified messaging app like Disa. It seamlessly integrates several messaging apps in one interface. What’s more, if some messaging apps are not very important to you, you can “deprecate” them.
7. Delete or Deactivate Unnecessary Social Media Accounts
If you think it is not important to stay active on multiple social media accounts, consider deleting or permanently deactivating the ones you don’t really use. You can easily delete or deactivate the account for all leading services including LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook, and Instagram.
It’s been a while since I deleted my Quora account. After reading some of the negative stories of late, I am quite happy about the decision.
The average person today spends 70% of their online time on phone apps. Out of these, social media, news and messenger apps consume the most time. Clearly, the amount of information passing through the chit-chat on a daily basis is enough to saturate anyone’s mind.
What other strategies have you followed to minimize the noise from your phone apps?