Saturday, February 11, 2012

Notifications - stress, drug or distraction?

Many of us have smart phones and we get notified whenever something new happens... 
Notice that I didn’t put a positive in the question/title today...even though notifications are important, I think they are one or the other a lot of times...a drug or stressful. At least they’re a distraction.
Emails, texts, score updates, trade updates, reminders, weather emergencies, FaceBook updates, Tweets, etc. That list can go on and on, depending on the Apps that you have. We get notified about everything in life...EVERYTHING! 
In a job that I had recently, I would receive about 150 emails daily and 50+ a day on weekends. I was notified of every little thing and most every detail about every little thing. I knew what was going on. In fact, if I went more than thirty minutes without an email, I would call our IT team and have them double check the server to see if I was still online. It got to a point that I looked at my phone every few minutes, it also got to the point that I ignored most every corporate email or just skimmed hem. They became a distraction.
I think being up-to-date is important and we need to be in the loop with our surroundings and our world. The problem is that we keep up with too much.
If you know me, you know that I am full of trivia and details about many useless (some are useful) items. I have come to the realization that it’s too much and have slowly weened myself off of some of my updates and notifications. I noticed that if I felt the buzz or heard the tweet, that I would feel the need to immediately check on the details, then when I checked, it was about something that I didn’t even really care about. I allowed it to distract me and pull my focus away from everything else I should care about. 
This is why I talked about stress, a drug or a distraction…
Notifications are a drug, because you get addicted easily and you have to have the details now and not later. You need your fix and filling and need to have that drug often. 
Notifications are a stress, because they distract you from the actual needs of your day and life and they pull you away, causing stress to catch up with the details you missed. We often cause stress by adding too much to our lives.
Just say no! Don’t add too much to your life. Sometimes take the initiative to get ride of something you don’t need. Don’t be distracted.
Lessons Learned: Focus on the people you impact in life and not just on the notifications.
Thoughts: Do you get too many notifications?

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