Relax, Apps.

Dave Caolo’s productivity tip of the day:

Turn off the “new email” notification sound. Nothing says “stop what you’re doing and look” like that damn little beep. It can take 15 minutes to get back on task following an interruption. Multiply 15 minutes by [X] number of beeps and you’ve baked a do-nothing soufflé.

Totally. I have very few notifications enabled on my Mac and mobile devices. Most of the time, being notified is unnecessary because I look at the app on a regular basis anyway. I don’t need an alert when someone mentions me on Twitter because I’ll see it eventually when I decide it’s time to check Twitter. I don’t use unread badges on my RSS reader for the same reason.

When apps demand my attention RIGHT NOW, they disrupt my productivity, which is counter to their intended purpose. By turning off notifications, I’m telling my apps, “Relax. I’ll get to you when I’m good and ready.”