Business Productivity

This is the percentage of your day lost responding to push notifications

- June 20, 2019 2 MIN READ

Doesn’t matter if they make a ping, or just flash in the corner of your eye, push notifications can steal 40% of your work productivity.

I heard that gnarly and frankly unnerving productivty fact via Steve Glaveski’s excellent podcast, Future Squared.   

It was 12 minutes of my life well spent and I highly recommend listening. 

Steve is right to bring it to our attention

Want to be a more productive, creative and fulfilled business owner? Then this is important information.

Citing a study from the University of California Irvine, Steve says executives on average receive 46 push notifications every single day.

They also get distracted from their main piece of work 2617 times a day and check their emails approximately 74 times a day.

The study also revealed that even if you don’t follow the train of thought, inspired by the incoming notification, you still lose approximately 40% of productivity over the course of the day.

Why? Well, think about it. You don’t just check your notification. The notification generally sends you into your inbox, where you’ll then get distracted by other emails and lose your focus and a big chunk of your day.

Need more time? Watch Kate Christie of Time Stylers explain the process of mapping time

‘Smartphones are like slot machines’

“Notifications are a dopamine hit for our brains,” says Steve

And as he goes onto say, according to technology researchers at Google smartphones are the equivalent of carrying a slot machine in our pockets.

Not surprisingly the ramifications of push notifications on our wellbeing are pretty terrible, too.

Our motivation suffers because we spend too much time either a) getting distracted or b) toggling between tasks. Both actions that completely wear out one part of our brain.  This in turn increases our anxiety, because we never seem to be able to finish anything and our workload starts to pile up.

What a cycle of productivity pain!

Helpfully, Steve says like any bad habit, it’s possible to break your notifications addiction .

Here are some of his excellent ideas for doing just that:

1.Switch your phone to aeroplane mode for extended periods during the day

2.Use the Google Chrome ‘Inbox When Ready’ plug-in, which means you only see the email you’re writing rather than your entire inbox.

3. Set times throughout your day to batch your emailing. 

4. Use digital wellbeing apps to track your screen time usage and scare yourself into submission!

5. Create blocks of between 2-4 hours in your day where you just do ‘deep work’

How do you deal with push notifications?