Next up in our series on how to curb your screen addiction, we’re tackling the issue of notifications. Back when I first got a smartphone, those little red numbers next to my apps filled me with excitement. Someone had messaged me! Or liked my photo!

Today, I feel pretty overwhelmed by all the notifications on my phone. When I open my phone, I’d like to be able to focus on that text or email I was about to send, not the notification from Postmates alerting me to their new discount code. That’s why I found this tip about turning off notifications to make my phone less distracting so helpful.

Related: Curb Your Screen Time Addiction series: Using the grayscale setting on your phone

And don’t worry, you don’t need to turn off all notifications if you rely on them for updates on your work or kids. We’ve outlined how to customize your notifications so they work for you. Or to turn them off completely for just an hour to enjoy your pristine, notification-free home screen. Ooh, ahh. 

If it makes more sense, you can even turn the notifications off at the source to limit your Twitter and Facebook distractions on both phone and computer. Or you can turn off notifications for individual text threads, in case your carpool or work group texts get too busy.

In my notification purge, I’ve found that if there’s an app I really enjoy, I’ll check it periodically without needing a notification. And if I don’t think to open it, I’m probably better off without that app anyway.

Top image: Jamie Street via Unsplash 

Other Curb Your Screen Addiction posts in our series:

Using the grayscale setting on your phone

Make a tech-free sacred space in your home