Turn Off Your Notifications, Coward

Turn Off Your Notifications, Coward

Okay, imagine you’re having sex (I said imagine – I know this is still a fantasy for some of you). Would you stop and check your phone in the middle of things?

YES??? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!? JK I know (hope) that you would not put your hypothetical partner on hold for a Clash of Clans update.

Dearestbugs, Digital Artist

You would not check your phone because you’re giving your full attention to your sexy schmexy experience. So why shouldn’t it be the same for your art?

Did I just compare sex and art? Yes, and it’s not even that original of a concept. So get over it. The point is, you need to put your phone away. Turn off notifications. Bury it with lock and key. Because although phones have become an ingrained part of everyday life, it’s hurting your art. So do it, coward. Turn off your notifications.

Here’s Why

You don’t believe me??? Good, you should always scrutinize your sources. Okay, here’s the dealio. Nearly two-thirds of Americans check their phones 160 times per day. That’s a lot. Especially because every time you look at your phone to see the latest terrifying news headline or stupid baby photos your cousin will NOT stop posting even though that kid is ugly with a capital UG, your focus is ripped away from whatever task you’re working on.

Leonardo Viti, 3D Character Development

There’s this thingy. It’s called deep work. It’s a work style that combats the modern-day buzz of offices, emails, multitasking. You’re supposed to focus on one task with zero distractions for several hours. At first, this sounds relatively easy. Not to brag, but I keep my phone on vibrate and am pretty good about resisting the urge to scroll during work hours. But I realized EVEN THE VIBRATE tugs at my focus and pulls me away from the task at hand.

Natalia Loktionova, FX Artist

Even when during breaks, when you’re not actively working on a project, checking your phone can upset a good idea and totally wreck your creative streak. A 2019 study proved that boredom increases creativity and problem-solving. So embrace the boredom! And no, checking your cousin’s baby’s photos doesn’t count.

Here’s How

Here’s why I’m the coolest. I’m not just going to leave you with a lecture and then mic drop, peace out. I’m going to share HOW you can turn off notifications. Cuz it’s hard. Like 75% of people think they’re addicted to their phones. So let’s not do this cold turkey. One step at a time. (Side note – why is it called cold turkey? Are turkeys from frigid climates notoriously resilient or something? Please comment your idea below.)

Beeple, Everyday Artist

Make Time

Let’s be honest, it’s not realistic to detach from the world all day. You could be getting work emails or even important personal texts. It really helps to plan ahead and make time for your no phone chunks of time.

Pramod Nirwan, 3D Artist

If you set aside a couple hours a day, whenever is most convenient for you, you can relax knowing you’ll be connected to the world before and after. Plus, you can send out an automatic message during those hours to let people know that’s your time to create! There’s nothing more powerful than an automatic email.

Introduce Apps

Still need some assistance? It’s fine. No, really. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

But for reals, there are a bunch of settings and apps to help you curb the addiction. We all know the basic Do Not Disturb. There’s also the nighttime application which gives you some extra steps to use the phone.

My fav is Forest. It’s an app where you set the amount of time you want to work, and when you click go, a tree starts growing. The longer you go without checking your phone, the more the tree goes. And if you reach your goal, you have a cute fucking tree!! How great is that?!?

Emilie Vaccarini-Francis, Vis Dev Artist

Do some research to find your tree app. Not everyone is as cute as me.

Turn Off Notifications (Duh)

It’s the title of this article so you really should have seen this coming. How many of the notifications you receive are actually worthy or interrupting your artistic process? Texts, sure, I get it. Calls, for sure. Maybe emails (most of mine is spam?).

But you can filter out the dating apps, social media, mobile games, news headlines, finance tips from banking apps. This isn’t to say these aren’t important apps! But they’re not as urgent as you may believe.

Our entire lives are on our phones, which is a ton of pressure! Normal life doesn’t ping at you 24/7, so why should your phone? Turn it off (in whatever way you like) and get back to work! You’ll find more success AND enjoyment.

Jacob Duncan, Color Artist
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