Stupid Simple Mac Tip #87 – Do Not Disturb!

by | Jul 20, 2021

With remote connectivity allowing work from home, we expect more tranquility than we ever found in the cubicle…but the same tech that freed us from the office has enslaved us to endless alerts.

What’s the point of pajama bottoms on a comfy couch if I’m stressed out by nonstop digital bombardment?!

Constant notifications (emails, phone calls, Zoom meetings, calendar events, Slack conversations, instant messages, et al.) prevent us from properly concentrating. Luckily, your Mac has a built-in solution: Do Not Disturb mode.

Do Not Disturb is like a one-click meditation that shuts out the world and provides mental space to focus on the task at hand. With a few more taps, you can even schedule regular respites or filter certain messages to get through.

The simplest way to enable Do Not Disturb is to hold down the Option button and click the notification icon in the upper right corner. When DND is engaged, the symbol will be grayed out and notifications blocked until you repeat the action and toggle them on.

[Total transparency – I did NOT know this until a team member pointed it out! AWESOME!]

Even if you forget about it, Do Not Disturb will automatically shut off the next day…but if you’re worried about abusing this bliss, you can limit the duration, schedule when it starts/ends, or define conditional alerts using optional settings.

Open the notification window (click the icon or swipe left with two fingers from the trackpad’s right edge), then tap the lower right cog to open settings and make your selections. This menu is also available on the main Settings screen under Do Not Disturb (marked by a crescent moon icon).

That’s it – one-click buys you an instant timeout from myriad intrusions that can derail your day. I use it whenever I start to get stressed, my screen gets too cluttered, or I really need to finish a project instead of attending distracting fires.

Just remember that the Mac’s Do Not Disturb is digital-only: before taking a bubble bath coffee break, better pull out the old-fashioned door sign.