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One Week, No Notifications

Friends, I took a week off.

This is not a surprising event here at CEEK. We have an unlimited vacation policy and are encouraged to take the time we need, when we need it in the name of life balance. I make use of CEEK’s policy most often around town, taking an hour or two to go get the kid, the dog, the groceries, etc. Though there’s no expectation to be available 24/7, I keep my phone with me, alert for new notifications. I also take advantage of our remote work policy, so I often have my computer with me, ready to make use of quiet minutes or flashes of insight wherever I find myself. This blend of work and life generally works well for me – I get my work and life tasks done in a way that keeps my mind fresh, my focus sharp, and my body moving.

And then we went on vacation. With the kid. And the dog. And my extended family. And their kids.

I turned off email and Slack notifications, closed my computer, and spent the week chasing down kids and dogs instead of work products.

Nothing broke. Everything was here waiting for me when I got back. Not having constant alerts and relentless reminders of what was waiting was a refreshing and needed break. I was able to take that week and focus my full attention on my family and loved ones.

Notification fatigue has real impacts on our health and wellbeing. Research shows that the bombardment of notifications can even cause ADHD-like symptoms, like distraction, lack of focus, and restlessness.

The solution is simple: Turn off the notifications, keep phones silent, and put them away.

Will I leave notifications off indefinitely? Email, yes. Slack, not yet. I’m already in the habit of checking email during dedicated breaks, so I don’t need the alerts. I’m not quite ready to let go of my Slack notifications yet. I’m working to trim back what other notifications come through and when.

Be intentional about your attention…And CEEK a Better Way!

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