I recently made the decision to turn off all the notifications on my cell phone. I just reached the point where I was overwhelmed. No matter what time of day, no matter what I was doing, and no matter where I was I just kept getting interrupted.
Notifications distracted me from everything—from work, from my family, and even from myself. I learned that removing them is a great way to bless your wife and kids.
It takes action to bless your wife and kids
I got the idea from my friend Eric Dingler at Family Life University. Much like myself, Eric is someone who wants to be the best family leader he can be.
He takes a very intentional approach when it comes to spending time and being present with his wife Marissa and their kids. But when I heard he was so serious about it that he removed all work-related apps from his phone, I was like, “WHOA!”
I never knew how distracted I was
I wasn’t sure if I could go that far, but I knew I needed to do something. So, project “removal of all phone notifications began.” I call it a project because it wasn’t as simple as going to Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. I started there, and thought I was done, but it seemed every day I’d get some type of notification.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. I’d remove them, and a couple days later it would be LinkedIn, YouTube, and WordPress! I even got a notification from my Bible app alerting me of a new Bible app for kids, which I had already downloaded.
It seemed every day for a week I’d receive a new notification from an app I didn’t even realize I was getting notifications from. I was completely bombarded with notifications, practically 24/7.
Even if I just cleared the notification, it interrupted my train of thought, the conversation I was having, and my overall flow for just a few seconds. And if I did open the notification, off down the rabbit hole I went.
What a difference maker
Now, with basically zero notifications—I still get text messages, and something tells me there is some obscure app about to notify me of something—I can honestly say my life is so much more peaceful!
I get work projects done faster, and better. I am fully present with my wife and kids. And I have not missed a thing.
You can do it too, no you SHOULD do it too
When I log onto those apps at the end of my day, or when I have a free minute to surf, I get bombarded with messages. But I find that most of them aren’t very important, and I gravitate to the few that are. It has changed the game for me.
Removing all phone notifications can do the same for you, too. I encourage you to do, no, I CHALLENGE you to do so.
Your family over your phone (notifications)
I know if you are here reading my site, then you probably have a family, and you really want to have the best relationship you can with them. You want to bless your wife and kids. Eliminating unimportant distractions like cell phone notifications is one major step you can take to do that.
So, here is what I want you to do…
For the rest of this month, I want you to remove all notifications from your phone. Try it and see what happens. When the month ends, if you want to turn some of them back on, do so. But my guess is you will feel so free, so not distracted, and relate so much better to your family that you won’t want to turn them back on. I know that is exactly how I feel.
[reminder]Will you take the challenge and turn off your cell phone notifications for one month? If you’ve done this or you’re planning to do it, share your experience. [/reminder]
photo credit: Johan Larsson via photopin cc