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Experiment 39

Have a notification strategy

From batch 6 of our weekly series of Lab Tests

Each week we release two new experiments from the Digital Habit Lab, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

Read Lab Test 6 →
See all Lab Tests →

What does it involve?

  1. Set aside some time to learn how your notification settings work, and how to turn them on and off at a granular level.

  2. Decide on a strategy for choosing which notifications to disable. For example everything except messages from close family

  3. Whenever a notification pops up outside of this strategy, take the time in that moment to disable future ones like it.

Why do it?

  • Make notifications more useful (if you know that any incoming ones are those you have chosen, they are more likely to be of value to you).
  • Reduce stress levels which are often triggered or enhanced by the sound of message, even if it’s not from your own device!
  • Increase your productivity by reducing the number of times that you are interrupted unecessarily during the day.


Make this an ongoing process—either making new adjustments in the moment whenever you get a new app, or doing a monthly review for example. Sometimes turning off notifications can also be a new source of stress as you now worry that you may miss something important. So take the time to communicate with others to help relieve this initial fear and keep tweaking your settings as required.