I have 3 iPhone settings that I have put into place over the last few years while I try to maintain work-life balance. I know how these work on iPhones, but I’ve never had an Android and the last time I had a Blackberry, it wasn’t really a smart phone. There might be similar settings on your phone, and if so, I’d love if you told me about it in the comments! For now, here are 3 settings you need on your iPhone for a more relaxed life!
1) Do Not Disturb
I keep mine on from 10 p.m. to 11 a.m. I chose this setting back in 2013/2014 when I was still in private practice and building that business while also maintaining this blog, being very active on social media, kept later hours with my friends who could text any time of night, and totally addicted to checking my e-mail. I was in a twitter chat where we were talking about how to balance life, a day job and a blog. Someone shared that they used Do Not Disturb to keep them from working when they should be resting or blogging, and keep them from blogging when they should be working.
That’s why mine goes so late in the day. Before I turned off notifications completely, I would do my normal morning routine of waking up and blogging, but then I’d have a ton of notifications from all of the social media I was sharing. The mornings are key times at work to get the worst project done and out of the way. It was so hard to not just reply to a quick tweet or e-mail, and end up thrown off of what had been a really productive roll. I was also trying to fix my sleep schedule so that I would go to bed and wake up at normal times. It was hard to do that when people were texting me at 1 a.m. I decided to give Do Not Disturb a try, and I haven’t gone back.
If you need to be available for important phone calls during that time, you can mark a contact as a “favorite.” Your phone still won’t buzz if there’s a text, but it will if that person calls. This would be good if you have kids with cell phones. I also have certain family members and work people on my favorites list. For example, my mom, dad, grandma, great grandma and little sister are all on that list. I’m not a morning person, and we had strict a “no phone calls after 9 pm” rule until my senior year of high school, when it changed to 10 p.m. So I know if they’re calling late at night or early in the morning, then there’s an important reason for it.
I also have my boss’ cell phone numbers as favorites. I don’t have our office phone number as a favorite, because that does not necessarily denote an emergency in the mornings. It could just be that I stepped out of my office to grab a cup of coffee in the break room, and they just called my cell when I was in my office.
Lastly, I have my boyfriend as a favorite (of course), and then I keep it set to allow repeated calls to ring. If someone is calling me more than once in a 3 minute period, it may also be an emergency. Although, usually it’s just someone who is confused about why my phone went to voicemail at 9 in the morning.
Find it: Settings –> Do Not Disturb –> Toggle on Scheduled and choose the time that makes the most sense to you.
If you want to allow certain people to get through the setting, select “Allow Calls From” –> “Favorites.”
If you want it to ring through if someone calls more than once in a three minute period, toggle on “Repeated Calls.”
Then choose when you want it to be silenced. I have it only silenced when the phone is locked. That means that if I am playing a game on my phone, on the other line, or already have it out texting someone, it will vibrate. If you don’t want it to ever make noise during that time, just select “Always.” Because I use this setting to prevent me from being interrupted when I’m sleeping or focusing on the beginning of my day, I am already being distracted by my phone and it doesn’t bother me if it makes noise.
2) Night Shift
Is this a real thing? I have no idea, I’m a lawyer not a scientist. What I do know is that when I’m playing my crossword puzzle before bed, there isn’t a bright light shining right into my eye balls.
Find it: Settings –> Display & Brightness –> Night Shift –> Toggle on Scheduled, which will give you the option of Sunset to Sunrise or your own custom time.
3) Turn off Notifications
All of them. ESPECIALLY your e-mail, but definitely all of them. You don’t need your phone telling you that you got an e-mail from J. Crew, when it’s time to check Facebook or respond to a tweet, or someone liked your photo on Instagram. Just turn them all off.
Here are the apps that I allow pop-up notifications for: Text messages and calls (I don’t think these count); Calendar (so I don’t miss a meeting); My bank account I use for home purchases/savings (I don’t use this account often so it helps me keep an eye on it); the Headspace app (it sends me a reminder to meditate and two helpful phrases throughout each day); and the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball app (because I have no idea how to play, keep forgetting how to play, and can’t stand to be embarrassed by forgetting to set my line-up again).
Some other programs send me text messages so then I do get notifications that way. For example, my regular checking account texts me when I spend over a certain amount, get a direct deposit, or when my account balance is lower than a certain threshold. Because of the way I budget (I pay everything the day after my paycheck clears and send the extra to savings), I want to be alerted when my balance is low. I also get texts when certain bills are paid or updates from certain places. If you don’t need an alert every time something changes in an app, see if you can set it to just text you when important events happen.
If you’re skeptical, Maggie and Jacey are totally on my side.
Find it: Settings –> Notifications –> “Allow Notifications” then just toggle them all off. Keep badges on so that you can see something new happened, but that won’t interrupt your day unless you open your phone and see there’s a new number by an app.
How do you keep your cell phone from dictating your life?