How to Be Insanely Productive: The No Notification Challenge

With seeing patients, operating this website, Perfect Keto, pureWOD, Health Fit Business, Movement Providers, all on top of advising a few companies, I need to be as effective and efficient as possible throughout the day just to stay afloat. There has to be a superhuman level of strategy and productivity to keep this juggling act afloat. But, I have good news for you. I’m a substandard human with more faults I can count and I have time for all of this and more. All it takes is one simple thing you can do to increase your productivity and output by at least 76723%.

This tip something so easy that literally anyone can do it. And to make it actionable so we can actually create some behavior change, I think we should do a challenge.

The last few years seem to be the time for challenges. Viral campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge have swept the country with crazy success. In the paleo scene we even have challenges like the 21 Day Sugar Detox and Whole 30. All of them for good causes with great participation. I wanted to I’ve come up with one of my own to show people how to improve their health and watch their productivity skyrocket. Welcome to The No Notification Challenge.

The challenge is to remove all notifications from your phone, computer, tablet, or anything else that alerts you of something.

Nothing is worse for you than notifications. That’s right, notifications are killing you. Notifications are the new smoking. Nothing will improve your life more than removing the notifications on your devices.

One of the largest things that people struggle with in this modern age is the separation from technology. The constant distraction steals from our mental capacity, creativity and productivity. Not only that, it keeps people sedentary, cranes necks into poor positions and keeps you up at night with a blue glow that disrupts sleeping patterns. Humans were never programmed for an incessant amount of distractions. We were programmed to be aware of a task, get it done, then move on to the next meaningful task.

Can you think of the last time that you received and responded to a text message or were on social media and actually had something constructive come with it? Uninterrupted time will drastically improve your productivity and keep you churning with creativity far longer than you’d assume.

We all know how the story goes with social media, you get a new pop up notification from Facebook and BAM! You’re sucked in. You raise to unlock your phone and see what imperative action requires your attention. Oh, Tammy wants you to play Candy Crush? What? Let’s just check my feed quick, and then chat with Ryan. Oh here’s Tyler talking to me now. Did I see that cat playing piano video? No, but let me check it out… 48 minutes go by and you forgot you had bacon in the pan and now the bacon is burnt. That has to be the worst feeling ever.

Even notifications of the non-social-media kind are a distraction. Think of the last time you received a text or email regarding something truly urgent that needed your absolute immediate attention for completion or something catastrophic would occur. It happens almost never.

Notifications of emails, texts and all social media are RARELY anything you need to be concerned with. They are distractions of the non-urgent, non-important kind. The No Notification Challenge is being created to solve all burnt bacon conundrums and the rest of the world’s problems by removing these distractions and making you a more efficient and effective human being.

Here is the challenge:
You are going to remove ALL notifications from ALL of your devices. Emails, texts, apps and especially social media. There is generally NOTHING that is urgent enough via any of those platforms that can’t wait a few hours. Don’t worry, if you need to check email, you still can. Just open the app.

If you have a job where you must respond to various texts, emails or messages then you’re probably in a position where you can afford to have an assistant to help with any type of urgent affairs.

So you don’t get behind or piss certain people off for them, set specific times of the day where you can batch out all of your email, texts, social media, etc. and you will have hours more in your day to accomplish more important things.

For example, you would only check email and reply to text messages from 9-10am and 4-5pm. Social media logins should be limited to a bare minimum. They generally are a time suck where you see the same thing over and over for a few days at a time.

Batching your time into certain blocks of time will help you get things done in a condensed matters so you can focus on completing tasks that are much more important. Just like you would wait to do a whole load of laundry and not just wash one sock after you’ve used it, wait until you have a solid amount of something to act on until you have it take up your time.

I actually am writing this article in a full screen mode, with a 25 minute on, 5 minute off timer.

Another trick I have recently employed is using two step sign in processes with social media to provide an immediate check. Notification checking is a reflex that needs to be trained. For example, when logging on to do work, it became nearly reflexive to log into my email in one tab and, as it has been one of my primary communication tools, Facebook in another. Putting two step login processes on both of these accounts has saved me an unbelievable amount of time.

Two-step logins look something like this: you enter your usual password and username and then you are slapped with another verification to make sure that is you, such as a code you must enter that is sent as a text to your phone.

Probably in existence for high level government and/or paranoid lovers, this tightened security is enough of a deterrent and inconvenience that it will make you think twice about if you really need to be checking your email or signing into your social media account.

no notification challenge rules

Rules for the challenge (recommended minimum of four weeks):
– Remove all notifications from all devices for everything but phone calls
– Batch log in times to check texts and emails for certain times of the day
– Add two step verification to check yourself logging in
– Use social media as sparingly as possible
– Make one day “screen free” and don’t look at a device unless absolutely necessary

These few steps have the possibility to completely transform your day. Every time you feel like checking your phone for social media updates or logging into your email to respond to non-critical items, think about what could be a more productive use of your time. This will lead to rapidly increased efficiency and eventually a break of the habit of reaching for your phone or tablet.

Thanks for reading and good luck with the challenge. Post or comment with how your challenge is going and let us know if you have any other ways that you cope with technology to be extremely effective!