Phone Stressing You Out? Here’s How To Battle Digital Exhaustion

Key Takeaways:

– Real estate professionals can prepare for the future by attending Virtual Inman Connect on Nov. 1-2, 2023 and Inman Connect New York on Jan. 23-25, 2024.
– The increasing use of technology has led to digital exhaustion, tech overload, collaboration overwhelm, notification fatigue, and other ailments.
– Workers toggle between apps and websites nearly 1,200 times a day.
– There are remedies to treat these ailments, such as curating notifications and turning off unnecessary ones.
– Tech companies want users to engage with their platforms and will often set default notification settings to encourage frequent usage.
– Curating notifications can help avoid distractions and minimize interruptions.
– Adjusting notification settings may take time upfront but can pay dividends in terms of productivity and focus.


No one can predict the future of real estate, but you can prepare. Find out what to prepare for and pick up the tools you’ll need at Virtual Inman Connect on Nov. 1-2, 2023. And don’t miss Inman Connect New York on Jan. 23-25, 2024, where AI, capital and more will be center stage. Bet big on the future and join us at Connect.

Does this sound familiar?

I left my phone for five minutes and now I have 12 unread emails, five new text messages, a few DMs on a few different social media apps, a couple of messages on Slack, and some alerts from my CRM. Oh, and I just got an email from the title company that I need to log into their portal for something. Here come some notifications from another app … I’m not sure what this one even does.

If this sounds like your day-to-day, you may be suffering from the side effects of our increasingly connected, tech-driven and productivity-oriented world. Whether you call it digital exhaustion, tech overload, collaboration overwhelm, notification fatigue or any variation thereof, these ailments are plaguing much of the professional world and our lives in general.

In fact, researchers have found that workers toggled between apps and websites nearly 1,200 times a day. That’s a lot of time and a lot of apps.

So what’s one to do when the technology that’s supposed to give us time back just drains it from somewhere else? When the tools designed to increase our productivity have us chasing our own tails instead? When your livelihood demands a computer and a phone, but a screen is the last thing you want to look at?

Although there isn’t much by way of a silver bullet when it comes to fighting this battle, there are several remedies you can use to treat these ailments:

Curate notifications

It’s not much of a secret that tech companies want you in their app and engaging with their platform as often as possible. This is especially the case for ad-revenue-driven technologies, like social media apps, but it’s also true for most business software as well.

The more you use the tech, the more likely you are to keep paying for it. There’s usually a significant amount of thought and effort that goes into finding ways to keep you engaged (or “keeping the app sticky”) as some in the tech world call it.

To that end, most apps will set their default notification settings to “as many as possible.” They’ll often phrase notification text in a way that amplifies the urgency or is intended to create FOMO (fear of missing out). The end result of this, however, is often notification fatigue.

This can manifest as getting so many notifications, you begin to ignore the important ones, or you’re constantly distracted from the things that actually matter.

You can fight back by curating your notifications and turning off anything other than the most important ones. Depending on the app, you may be able to get away with turning them all off. This takes a bit of time upfront, as you have to go into the various apps you use and manually adjust the settings, but it can pay dividends in terms of avoiding distractions and minimizing interruptions.

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Property Chomp's Take:

In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, it's no wonder that many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the constant influx of information and notifications. From emails and text messages to social media alerts and app notifications, it can be exhausting to keep up with it all. This phenomenon, often referred to as digital exhaustion or tech overload, is affecting not only our personal lives but also our professional productivity.

A recent study found that workers toggle between apps and websites nearly 1,200 times a day. That's a lot of time spent on various platforms, constantly switching between tasks and trying to stay on top of everything. But what if the very technology that was supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient is actually contributing to the problem?

Tech companies have a vested interest in keeping us engaged with their apps and platforms. The more frequently we use their technology, the more likely we are to continue paying for it. As a result, most apps default to sending as many notifications as possible, often using urgent or fear-inducing language to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). While this may be good for their business, it often leads to notification fatigue for users.

Notification fatigue occurs when we receive so many notifications that we start to ignore the important ones or become constantly distracted from tasks that actually matter. It's like a never-ending cycle of interruptions that prevent us from focusing and being productive. So, what can we do to combat this?

One solution is to curate our notifications. Take the time to go into the settings of each app you use and turn off any notifications that are not essential. Depending on the app, you may even be able to turn off all notifications. While this may require some upfront effort, it can pay off in terms of reducing distractions and minimizing interruptions throughout the day.

Another strategy is to set boundaries and establish tech-free zones or times. Designate certain times of the day or areas of your home where technology is not allowed. This can help create a sense of balance and give you a break from the constant stream of information. Whether it's a daily walk without your phone or a designated tech-free hour before bed, finding moments of respite from technology can be incredibly beneficial for your mental well-being.

In addition to curating notifications and setting boundaries, it's important to prioritize and focus on the tasks that truly matter. Take a step back and evaluate which activities are essential for your work and personal life. By identifying your priorities, you can allocate your time and energy more efficiently and avoid getting caught up in less important tasks.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for help. If you're feeling overwhelmed by technology and its impact on your life, reach out to friends, family, or colleagues for support. They may have valuable insights or strategies that can help you navigate the digital landscape more effectively.

In conclusion, while technology has undoubtedly brought many benefits to our lives, it's important to be mindful of its potential drawbacks. By curating our notifications, setting boundaries, and prioritizing our tasks, we can regain control over our digital lives and find a healthier balance between technology and our well-being. Remember, it's not about completely disconnecting from the digital world, but rather finding ways to use technology more intentionally and purposefully.

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