Collaboration Software

How to Snooze Notifications and Avoid App Overload

Explore strategies to combat notification overload, including tips on snoozing notifications, setting statuses, utilizing Do Not Disturb features, and managing email interruptions.
Dominic Kent
Dominic Kent is a content marketer specializing in unified communications and contact centers.

Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and email. After walking my dogs this morning, I counted back to see exactly how many apps I used whilst I was “clearing my head.”

Taking a break from work is important. Once I counted past these 4, I decided that I was suffering from notification overload.

Allan Kohll in Forbes suggested we’ve forgotten the importance of the long lost break. Some stats that he shares include:

  • 20% of North American workers worry their bosses won’t think they are hardworking if they take regular breaks
  • 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a break
  • 22% of North American bosses say that employees who take regular breaks are less hardworking

The importance of breaks, downtime and genuinely having time off – not booking a holiday and working through it – is crucial to productivity and work-life balance.

Here are some methods that work for me. You should try them over the holiday break if you think you are suffering from app overload.

Customizing notification settings on Google Chat

Google Chat has several features that you can use to notify your colleagues that you'd prefer not to be disturbed.

The most straightforward method is simply setting your setting to Do not disturb using the dropdown menu at the top of the screen.

Do not disturb in Google Chat

You can select Add a status to type out a preferred status message.

Set a custom status in Google Chat

To make the most of Google Chat's notification customization, you'll want to select Chat notification settings from the status dropdown.

From here, scroll down until you see Do not disturb schedules. Here, you can select one of Google Chat's preset DND timeframes or customize your own.

The Do not disturb scheduler is a powerful tool to ensure your peace and quiet when it's time to log offline.

Do not disturb scheduler Google Chat

Snooze Slack notifications

At Mio, it’s really important to use Slack’s snooze feature.

We have people in the US, UK, and Russia so we often work in different time zones.

By turning on snooze notifications, everybody is able to get a good night’s sleep without being disrupted by Slack channel messages and DMs. To have an uninterrupted holiday, give it a try.

Pause notifications on Slack

Set your Slack status

An accurate Slack status can lead to a peaceful holiday period. Just because you are vacationing, doesn’t mean everyone in your organization is.

By setting your Slack status to reflect your true status, people are less like to send you a message or mention you in a channel.

Set a Slack status

Sign out of guest Microsoft Teams accounts

It’s not just colleagues that message us at unwanted times.

Even if the expectation of your customer or supplier is for you to respond when you are back in the office, often the guilt of an unread message means you check it and reply anyway.

This is completely the wrong thing to do.

Once you respond, that is the signal that you are available and working. If you are a guest on other Microsoft Teams accounts, try signing out of all the guest accounts this holiday season.

This shows clear intent that you are not available until you sign back in on Monday morning.

Signing out of your guest account

Turn off banners and emails in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has a neat notifications settings area.

Here, you can turn off all, none or selected notifications.

If you are waiting for a specific reply in chat, you can choose to keep chat notifications on but mute everything else while you enjoy your time off.

Turn off notifications in Microsoft Teams

Just sign out

With every messaging app, you have the ability to sign out. This is your cue to start your vacation and enjoy some downtime.

If you choose to leave notifications on via email, you don’t need to be signed into apps like Microsoft Teams to know if anything important is happening or you’ve been messaged.

Through customization of settings, clear statuses and perfecting your DND options, you can just sign out.

Sign out of your Microsoft Teams guest account

Use Gmail snooze for less email interruptions

If you’re a heavy Gmail user, this feature might come in handy.

Launched in 2018, Gmail Snooze allows users to delay the time at which emails appear in their inbox, which means you can stagger the flow of your incoming mail to a rate that suits you.

You can manage incoming messages so when your inbox is filling up fast, a defined amount of messages can be set to “snooze” and appear later.

rightinbox does highlight one disadvantage, however…

“The only danger of the Snooze feature is that if it’s overused, the problem of a busy inbox isn’t necessarily solved. Instead, users could wind up creating a never-ending build-up of messages that are never attended to.” David Campbell, rightinbox

Remove email from your phone

I do this daily as I have multiple email accounts. If there is a better way to do this then please leave a comment.

I often need to check back at my calendars for non-work events.

It’s still handy to see the events I have in my work life so I don’t double book.

By removing just the mail and keeping my contacts and calendars, I can manage my calendar without being distracted by work emails.

How to unsync your email account from the Mail app on iPhone settings
Unsync your emails to avoid app overload

App overload

Often, we find ourselves dealing with multiple messaging apps.

This can be both the source and solution to our app overload problem.

The cause of app overload is usually down to having to install all these apps to please everybody.

Maybe your Sales team uses Google Chat and Engineering team uses Slack. Or maybe your Marketing team prefers Microsoft Teams. Chances are, you probably have them all on your laptop and your phone just to stay in touch with your colleagues. And who doesn’t still use email?

As Slack CTO, Cal Henderson pointed out at Web Summit, email is never going to die completely.

“Email is never going to die completely. Long-term, it is the cockroach of the internet. Nobody likes it but it is impossible to eradicate. Email addresses will be around indefinitely.”

Just counting these few messaging apps, we’re up to eight interruptions during a time that should be spent with your loved ones.

As you don’t have time to make any changes to your technology stack, utilize these tips and enjoy some downtime.

And if you need some extra help, Mio is the only native interoperability solution that bridges messages from Google Chat to Microsoft Teams or Slack. That means you can stay on your platform of choice while communicating with colleagues on other apps.

This frees you up from having to check notifications on other apps, and centralizes all collaboration on one platform. After all, the best way to cut down on app overload is to cut down on the number of apps you have to use.

Protect your time and learn more at m.io.

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