DO NOT DISTURB is a criminally overlooked feature on Android and iPhone. With the right settings applied, it can make your life much more pleasant…
Have you ever spent a day without your phone? Do constant WhatsApp notifications or never-ending group-chats get on your nerves? Spam emails? You’re not alone. Phones are great tools, but they can eat up way too much of your time if you’re not careful.
If you’d like to wrestle back some of your time, live a little more in the moment with fewer distractions, there is a really simple solution to your problems in the form of DO NOT DISTURB mode.
What is DO NOT DISTURB Mode?
You’ve probably activated DO NOT DISTURB a bunch of times, usually when you’re in a meeting or trying to get a nap in. But what if you had DO NOT DISTURB mode switched on all the time? What happens? Is it even advisable?
The thing most people don’t know about DO NOT DISTURB mode is that you can configure the settings. For instance, you can put your phone into DO NOT DISTURB and it will only ring if you get a call from someone that is saved as a contact on your phone.
This means 100% of spam calls, sales calls, and every other kind of unsolicited call is completely blocked. If one of your friends calls you, or your boss, or someone from your family, and you have their number saved, the call will come through as normal.
If you get a lot of spam calls, this is a game-changer. You no longer need to worry about anything. The only calls you’ll ever get will be from people that are saved on your Contacts list.
What About IM & WhatsApp?
In DO NOT DISTURB mode, all notifications from apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other IP apps will be blocked, meaning you will not be notified about an incoming message. Is this a bad thing? Not really.
Think about how often you check your phone. If you leave it in DO NOT DISTURB mode, all you have to do is open WhatsApp and check to see if there are any messages. If there is, you can respond. If not, carry on with your day.
The same goes for your email app. You can open Gmail, refresh it, see what’s new, and then decide what to do. Running your phone this way saves you countless hours a week. You’re no longer beholden to your phone. You can just get on living your life, doing work, or chilling.
What About Important Stuff?
Running your phone in DO NOT DISTURB 24/7 does mean you miss things, the odd IM, and email from your boss. You won’t miss it entirely, but you will miss it initially. But I’d argue that this isn’t an issue because if something is a life or death scenario, they’d call you.
And with DO NOT DISTURB mode on, they CAN still call you, so all is good. And I’ve been doing this for over a month now and it has been great. My screen time is down like 70%, I hardly ever look at email, and I no longer get pulled into pointless WhatsApp group chats.
My productivity has increased, I work better and longer with distractions, and I hardly take my phone out of my pocket during family time or when I’m hanging out with friends. And if I do, I can check everything in a couple of minutes and see if anything needs responding to.
How Do I Activate DO NOT DISTURB Mode?
On Android, simply swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the DO NOT DISTURB icon. You can also go into Settings and change DO NOT DISTURB’s parameters on Android.
To do this, open Settings, search for DO NOT DISTURB, then select accept calls from contacts saved to your phone. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to receive calls from your contacts while DO NOT DISTURB is activated.
On iPhone, Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. Or, you can activate it from Control Center, just open up Control Center > Tap DO NOT DISTURB icon. If you want to allow certain calls through when DO NOT DISTURB is activated, follow the steps below:
- Tap Allow Calls From: To allow incoming calls from selected groups.
- Turn on Repeated Calls: To allow repeated calls from the same number to come through for emergencies.
Simple, right? Now you can run your phone in DO NOT DISTURB mode 24/7 and still get important and relevant calls through. After a week or so, you’ll find that you use your phone around 40% less – or, at least, that has been my experience.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.