How Blocking App Notifications Can Supercharge Your Creativity

    Why every creative must turn off app notifications - right now.

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have been spending more time at home, i.e. more time with technology. When you are cooped up in a 10*10 foot single-room flat in a high-rise, hundreds of miles away from family, there's little you can do physically to keep yourself informed, entertained and in touch with the world.

    In these alienating instances, the internet is often the only thing keeping you from going insane.

    However, while you would expect this newfound solitude to trigger creative thoughts & ideas, the reality couldn't be far from it. As your screentime increases, you'll also find yourself more distracted than ever, thanks to app notifications.

    You see, a handful of folks, in a handful of companies whose apps are on your phone are steering how billions are going about their lives. They schedule li'l blocks of time on your schedule every day, and try to arm-twist you into having specific thoughts on the brand, whether you like it or not.

    A witty one line notification on your screen sucks you into something for a li'l while, whether you gave it the right to, or not.

    Every brand is in a race for your attention, and to get you to spend more time thinking, ideating to transact or transacting on it. These notifications fundamentally change lives, and it's changing for everyone, as billions of us have smartphones in our pockets.

    These dings constantly tug us away from our chain of thoughts, into a pointless tailspin.

    How many of us have decided not to touch our phones - while sleeping, studying, working or speaking with our loved ones about something truly meaningful, only for it to ding, and we're suddenly overtaken by this anxiety that there's something important on the other side of that ding.

    Over time, these attention-fracking popups have proven to shorten attention spans of those jacked into this attention-cultivating economy. According to Microsoft research, it actually takes 23 minutes to regain your attention once you're distracted. The sad part is, the more you do this, the more your brain is conditioned into being repeatedly interrupted. Put that in the context that on average we check our phones 150 times a day, and you'll realise the unprecedented amount of damage we're doing to our minds, and our productivity cause we're letting these things bulldoze our attention.

    It doesn't have to be this way...

    Human attention & time are both limited, and tech can actually help empower you to live creative and fulfilling lives. And getting control over interruption is the first step to doing great work.

    Enter Daywise, a behaviour science-based app incubated out of Dan Ariely's behaviour lab at Duke University that helps people stay focused at work and sleep better at night. Daywise lets you schedule all your smartphone notifications and delivers them as a digest at set times.  Scheduling notifications at specific intervals has proven to improve attention, productivity and can save you hours daily.

    It's time you decide what's time well spent for you.

    To know more about the attention economy and how it impacts your life, check out this YouTube video, read up about Tristan Harris and the Center for Humane Technology.

    Saikat Pyne

    Saikat Pyne

    Saikat Pyne is an award-winning integrated marketing & communications specialist. He has consulted 40+ leading brands on ways to build their reputation with digital-first content.