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Notification Engines & Temporal Challenges

May 29, 2013

I remember it as if were yesterday. The moment when I decided to free myself of the chains that bound me to an annoying little buzz or bling signifying someone was emailing, calling, or passing along little nuggets of wisdom via Facebook.

On August 2nd, 2011 at 09:15 EST, I disabled all notifications on my smartphone. Shut down everything. No buzz, no beeps, no nothing. It was one of the most liberating moments in my entire life.

And, you know what happened? Nothing. The world did not end. Systems, networks, and projects did not come to a screeching, crashing halt. The world went on as it always has and always will.

You know what did happen? I became more focused on my task at hand by an order of magnitude – almost immediately. I was able to concentrate on whatever I needed to do, at that moment, and, shockingly enough, plan for things that were not in my immediate stream of consciousness. Absurd I know…

Since that fateful moment in time, I have been able to maintain said level of focus, and work smarter to get things done. Email, once a constant annoyance, has become rather productive when applied in focused intervals.

That is of course not to say that I have kept the notifications to that draconian of a silenced level since then. I have turned on certain ones so that when my attention needs to be diverted, it can be, though that is managed through expectations to my teams and family. “If you really need me, do this…”

Life is better. Seriously.

Only you can control your attention, focus, and ultimately time. Being the master of what can potentially master you is vital to success.

One Comment
  1. In this completely interconnected world we all lose sight of simplicity. In the end, if we live like our grandparents who grew up in the 1930’s our lives will be simpler, richer, and more focused on the right things for each of us.

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