How to limit daily life notifications - Info overload part 1

How to limit daily life notifications - Info overload part 1

March 30, 2024

Notification Overload: How to Reclaim Your Brain Power – Part 1

Let’s dive into the digital maelstrom: notifications. In this era of perpetual connectivity, everything and everyone clamors for your attention. Yes, even this article. Beyond the endless scroll of content lies another rabbit hole: the ceaseless cascade of notifications. These little pings, beeps, and banners—innocent individually—accumulate like digital dust, clogging our mental bandwidth.

Even if you’re the stoic type who can dismiss a mailbox badge flaunting 12,000 unread messages, the notifications persist. They nibble away at your cognitive reserves, bit by bit, until your brain’s budget is depleted.

If you’re still with me, chances are you’ve felt the pull—the magnetic force of your phone, the irresistible urge to check that notification. Fear not; I’ve got some battle-tested strategies to mitigate this modern-age affliction.

Social Media Strategies

If you can’t live without them

Pick and focus on one or two. I, for one, bid adieu to Facebook and Instagram, opting for LinkedIn and Reddit. And I deactivated most of the notifications they are sending me.

Do not use the social media apps.

Even if you are constantly asked to install an app, keep everything within your browser. That will diminish the number of notifications you have by default.

Ruthlessly block/unfollow obvious sales pitches.

At the time of writing, I have about 2,000 followers and probably 20% of these people are business development. The good ones provide useful and insightful content, but most of them are following boring sales scripts that are not worth your time.

Toxic Cleanse

Negativity and trolls—our digital pests. They thrive on attention. Starve them. Ignore, mute, and let them fade into the background.

Emails: The Silent Intruders

Do not use focused inboxes

This one is going to sound counterintuitive, but you letting a software decides what’s important for you is not going to help you take back control.


Bad email marketing is exhausting. From useless onboarding flows to mailbox overload, you will quickly identify which companies are wasting your time. Just unsubscribe.

Automate the Mundane

I receive a lot of transactional emails that are not necessarily useful. It’s quite simple to set up email filters to automatically archive these so you don’t even see them. Do NOT filter any security-related email like password change and login notification.

Chat messages

Group chats

Do you really need to belong to 20 group chats? Do you know everyone, and can you be sure what you share in these groups won’t be used to nefarious ends?

Mute chats by default.

Unless there are important chats, like close friends and family, and if after a couple of weeks, you realize you don’t read anything, just leave the chat.

How about work?

I will have a dedicated article for work, as it’s a bit more complex and ties to how to effectively communicate with coworkers.