Sometime last fall I made the effort stop multitasking at work. Rapidly switching context had reached its limit and my role was changing. It was hard at first, but it’s gotten easier.
Over a few months after that, I found interruptions increasingly unpleasant. What was once a necessary function of my role had become a frustrating experience that just happened to me without my control while I was trying to do other things.
So I have steadily turned off more and more of these notifications of chats, emails, some meetings even. At first I was reluctant. Being resonsive to others, helping to unblock them, was something that I was proud of. But as space opened up for thought and focused work, I have become increasingly protective of that time.
A lot of other notifications had to go too. They were preventing me from being able to focus, just think uninterrupted, or recover from an intense discussion. I also noticed that a lot of notifications where coming from apps or businesses, and they just weren’t useful, relevant, or interesting to me. So I muted, unsubscribed, or in rare cases scheduled the notifications for only a couple of times per day. An ever expanding list of apps and systems have been banned from ever notifying me.
It feels good to have some space, some breathing room. Some time to think and decide what’s next.