Throughout history, one habit has remained etched in humanity’s tendencies: distractions. Whether it be other empires, mismanagement of funds or ignoring other’s texts, distractions are seen as a side effect of living in the Information Age.
Now more than ever, children are spending more and more time on their phones, and the constant buzz that notifications provide creates a constant cycle of dopamine that is always filled but never satisfied. With all this in mind, the creation of "Do Not Disturb" is revered as a must-have for people focused on productivity and optimal workflow.
Enabling "Do Not Disturb" on your phone stops notifications, alerts and calls from making any noise when the screen is locked. This allows uninterrupted hours of focusing on important matters and prevents you from being distracted from notifications on your phone.
I, along with society at large, have come to terms with a few things pertaining to technology. The first fact is that it is not going away anytime soon. Denying technology’s influence at this point would be silly and counterproductive. Preventing your children from using technology would bar them from every modern appliance.
Scientists are making incredible breakthroughs involving medicine and technology, and research into AI continues to advance at a stellar rate. Technology is inherently neither good nor bad, it's how we utilize it that makes all the difference.
The second fact is that using technology alters our brain chemistry. Checking your phone throughout the day triggers emotional responses such as anxiety, excitement or isolation. It provides instant attention and gratification of one’s existence, and a text from someone we care about influences and affects our self-confidence and belief in one’s self.
Glancing at your phone breaks your concentration, and it is difficult to find your groove once it has been lost.
The third fact is that the irony of living in the Information Age is that retaining information has become more difficult. Procrastination is easier now more than ever, and remaining a diligent student takes willpower, belief and self-control that previous generations did not have to deal with.
Staying on task is a decision that must be maintained constantly instead of a single act that lasts for a certain amount of time.
A good way to improve productivity while working is to turn off all non-essential notifications (alerts from video games, fitness apps and other non-essentials), and let "Do Not Disturb" take care of the rest of the notifications. This ensures that even if you are getting notifications, they are important and can be checked all at once, rather than over multiple occasions.
Without the constant lighting up of your phone notifications, it becomes easier for you to stay on task with your assignments and work. The popular phrase, “out of sight, out of mind” shows its universal appeal.
Additionally, silencing your notifications forces you to become more in tune with the present. Time and time again you hear of accidents involving texting and driving or friends becoming offended because that one person was on their phone the whole night instead of socializing.
While phones do connect people in new and incredible ways and should absolutely be utilized for that purpose, it should not come at the expense of real-world connections and conversations. Keeping yourself present should remain paramount on your priorities list, and everything else — including texting and instant gratification — should come later.
The monotony created by technology is a habit that is difficult to break, but by utilizing self-control and "Do Not Disturb," we can make the transition from having our phones use us to having us use our phones.