I recently put out some content encouraging developers and those involved in deep work to disable notifications during working sessions. I got a lot of great responses and thought I’d dive even deeper in.
If you are on the maker side of things, your communication should be primarily asynchronous. Carve out 2-3 hour chunks to focus on work, stay in the zone, and optimize your productivity. Then come out of the zone, and batch your responses to emails and messages.
You need an easy button on your computer that says, “I am doing focused work” that blocks all non-critical notifications.
This needs to be in a decent-sized chunk, preferably 2-3 hours. Ramp-up time takes a while, fundamentally. You need to be able to commit to work and give yourself that ramp-up time.
You need to have some contacts whitelisted for true emergencies—family emergencies, site outages, or other issues that need immediate action. Otherwise, it can wait.
Set your expectations with bosses and peers in advance. Establish a workflow, with do-not-disturb flow sessions for two hours, followed by chunks of time for communicating asynchronously. We need more asynchronous work across the board.