10 Tweaks to Keep Your Phone from Interrupting You

10 Tweaks to keep your phone from interrupting you

One of the biggest interruptions in our daily lives is our own phones.

You would think that we could keep them in check since we have them with us all day and night. (Yes, most people sleep with their phones.)

Yet, we let them constantly interrupt us. They chime, buzz, and ring at the most inopportune times. And most people never do anything about it.

Today, I want to share some simple tweaks you can make to keep your phone quiet and ensure it doesn’t interrupt your day.

Is Your Phone Interrupting You?

Ding! Buzz! Tweet!

Our phones are constantly interrupting us. Whether it is an incoming call, message, or simply a notification, our phones love to make noise. It seems that they are always asking for attention.

I was recently with an executive who’s phone chimed at least three dozen times during a 1-hour meeting. (Scary thing was, as far as I could tell, it was only email notifications.)

It was extremely annoying to everyone else in the room, yet he never silenced his phone. Instead of being a useful device, his phone was a constant source of annoyance.

“Your phone should be an enabler for your day, not an interrupter of it.’

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Most people don’t silence their phones, even though there are many simple settings and adjustments that can prevent interruptions.

Here are 10 Tweaks to Keep Your Phone from Interrupting You:

  1. Turn Off the Sounds – You can silence your phone. It is amazing how many people haven’t figured out what that tiny switch at the top of their iPhone does.
  2. Turn Off Notifications – These days it seems that every app you install wants to send you notifications. I recommend you turn off all notifications except the most important ones. After all, do you need your latest game interrupting your day to tell you to “Check on your dragons?”
  3. Use Custom Rings and Vibrations – Most people use one default ringtone for all calls. Take the time to set up custom ringtones and vibrations for your important contacts. This will let you know when you have an important message or call vs. everyone else.
  4. Setup Night Mode – Does your phone wake you up during the night? That is your own fault if you haven’t set up quiet hours for your device. Set “Do Not Disturb” mode to automatically turn on at night and back on in the morning.
  5. Only Answer Your Contacts – If you are disciplined about capturing contact information, you should have all of your regular colleagues in your address book. This allows you to better recognize who is calling you. Avoid answering any calls that you don’t know. I send them immediately to voicemail.
  6. Block numbers – Keep getting calls from unwanted people or telemarketers? Learn how to permanently block specific callers on your phone. It only takes a few taps from the phone app. Any telemarketer who manages to call my cell gets immediately and permanently banned.
  7. Put the Phone Down – Even though you may think your phone is your lifeline to the Internet and all things social, you don’t have to have it glued to your hand. Put your phone down once in a while. Don’t bring it to meetings. Take a break from it. Chances are you aren’t going to miss anything that important.
  8. Remove Extra Apps – Extra apps are just noise and clutter on your phone. I had a rogue app that I had installed that was constantly sending me notifications. I simply deleted it. No more interruptions.
  9. Use Privacy Mode – Do Not Disturb mode is feature that many don’t use. Or if they do, they only use it at night. (See #4) However, you should use “Do Not Disturb” any time that you need to prevent interruptions. I love activating it from my Apple Watch, which puts both my watch and iPhone in “Do Not Disturb” with a quick tap. (Quick note:  “Do Not Disturb” mode, by design, doesn’t stop all interruptions… your “Favorites” still come through, as well as repeat emergency calls…)
  10. Turn the Phone Off – Recently, I was coaching an individual who was going for a job interview. They were concerned about their phone ringing during the conversation. I said,” Why don’t you turn it off during the interview?” They looked genuinely surprised. Yes, you can actually turn your phone off.

Keep Your Phone Quiet

Keep your phone interruptions to a minimum.

Always remember that your phone is there for your convenience.

With a few tweaks, you can silence your phone and prevent many of the interruptions of your day.

Question: How do you keep your phone from interrupting you? Share your best tip below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

4 thoughts on “10 Tweaks to Keep Your Phone from Interrupting You

  1. I use the Silent Time app on my Android phone, which allows me to pre-schedule the times I need my phone to be quiet. That way, if I know I have a meeting on Monday, from 10 to 11, I can pre-schedule my phone to be quiet during that time, so I don’t accidentally forget!

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  3. Craig,

    Great recommendations and completely agree. I’m going to “retweet” this on my twitter and add this to my facebook page for my EmailOverload site.

    I think that most people seem to think their lives are much more important then they are. What is really SO IMPORTANT that you must always be notified of every text, update, email, etc. on your phone. Unless you are a “doctor on call” or in some sort of urgent care / critical role, I would like to suggest that 99% of the notifications on your phone can be eliminated. I grew up in a time before cell phones, and guess what, I did just fine. I would be out all day (.. or weekend..) without a phone. I would let my folks know where I was, and if it was really important, I would pick up a phone and call. I didn’t have to tell someone where I was every second of every day, and guess what, it builds something called “character” and “independence”. The need for hyper-connectivity is a self-imposed myth. In fact, I posit that the constant connections and media interruptions have a huge negative impact on personal happiness and productivity. The constant fragmentation of your time makes people unable to concentrate and focus, and therefore unable to complete tasks. The end result is that we are “busy” but not “productive”.

    A great quote comes to mind: “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

    Regards and Peace,


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