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8 Ways To Get Push Notifications Under Control If They're Overwhelming

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Getting constant push notifications from your email, messages, social media platforms, and every other app can be overwhelming — especially when you're trying to be productive or just disconnect from technology. And while manually turning all your push notifications off or putting your phone on "Do Not Disturb" seem like good solutions, they're not always feasible. So if you want to get your push notifications under control, you might need extra help.

A 2014 Telefonic Research study found that the average person gets 63.5 push notifications a day. That means an average of about 64 separate dings, bells, or vibrations every 24 hours. If you think about trying to get work done with all of these distractions popping up, the struggle is real. Although it would be ideal to just turn your phone off and focus, that's easier said than done. Instead, it might be better for you to find a way to manage your notifications without having to think about each app all the time. And luckily for you, there are different apps and methods to help you get organized.

Here's a handful of ways to get your phone notifications under control if you have an Android and all those pings are getting overwhelming. And if you don't know how to manage your notifications on iPhone, get ready to learn:

1
AppBlock

AppBlock does exactly what you think it does. It allows you to block yourself from using certain applications throughout the day. The app also blocks notifications from other apps, even ones from your email, and you can set a timer for when and how long you want to block them. And if you want to take it a step further, you can use the AppBlock Strict mode which will not let you access any of your blocked apps.

2
Notifications Off

If you need to use your phone for an assignment but don't want to be distracted by all the notifications coming your way, you can use the Notifications Off app to control all your notifications at once instead of going into your settings and individually turning all of them off. The next time you pull out your Calculator app you don't have to worry about getting sidetracked by who messaged you on Instagram.

3
Post Box

If you want to control how often you see your notifications, Post Box is a great option for you. The app lets you receive all your notifications during certain time periods as opposed to throughout your whole day. This way, you can choose pockets of the day where you know you won't be disturbed, and have other time slots specifically for reconnecting with your phone. And if you decide you want to see your notifications at any point (despite what time slots you've set up) you have the option to do that too.

4
Notification Reader: Shouter

The Notification Reader: Shouter app is great for the worker who can't pick up their phone without being distracted. If you want to still know about your notifications but not have to stop what you're doing and pick up your phone every time it dings, this app is super helpful. The app reads you your messages, tells you who's calling you, and also gives you voice reminders for anything you might want to remember. The only thing is you probably would only use this app when you're working at home so that people don't hear your messages being dictated to you.

5
Morph

Morph lets you schedule when you get your notifications based on your time and place. For example, you can log locations like "Work" or "Home" and assign app notifications to these places (or times). This means you don't have to think twice about a potential notification distracting you while you're in the thick of work.

6
Dynamic Notifications

Dynamic Notifications lets you play around with how you receive notifications and from where. You can choose which apps you want to get notifications from and for how long, making it easier to block off distractions. The app also makes it so your phone doesn't light up with notifications when it's in your pocket, meaning that when you put your phone away, you're really putting it away.

7
Unnotification

The Unnotification app is simple yet helpful. It allows users to access all of the notifications they may have swiped away already. In other words, if you push away notifications while you're working, this app will help you make sure that you don't miss anything important when you're finally ready to look at them. You'll be able to hide notifications while working, and then get back to them when you have the time.

8
Manage Notifications On Your iPhone
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I don't know about you, but receiving a steady stream of notifications on my phone makes me feel hella bajiggity. I'm an iPhone user, and Apple has made it pretty easy to manage those annoying notifications. The only notifications I allow on my lock screen are iMessage and Messenger on Facebook. And I have them set to silent so I see them but I don't hear that awful dinging sound.

If you're new to iPhone, or you just haven't figured out how to manage your notifications, it just takes a few minutes. First, go to Settings then select Notifications. You'll see a section that lists all of your apps under the heading "Notification Style." Below each app you can see what style it's currently set to: Banners, Sounds, Badges, and Vibrations. Select the arrow next to each app and choose how you want to be notified or opt out of notifications altogether.

If you have a lot of apps it might seem like this is a time-consuming undertaking, but it moves very quickly. And it's 100% worth 10 minutes of you time to stop your phone from distracting you every three seconds. In addition, even if your notifications are turned off, you can just swipe down from the top of your screen to see everything you're missing.

Focusing with a smartphone by your side can be hard, but it doesn't have to be. With apps like these, you'll be able to get a better grip on balancing being connected and unplugged.

Studies Referenced:

Church, K., de Oliveira, R., Pielot, M. (2014). Proceedings of the 16th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices & services. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2628363.2628364

Brandi Neal has contributed to this article.