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February 9, 2013 • How to Do It Yourself!

How to Maximize Do Not Disturb on iOS

Settings for Do Not Disturb on iOS

I admit, I did not make much use of the “Do Not Disturb” setting on my iPhone when it first appeared. But Apple’s commercials for the Do Not Disturb on iOS feature with the Williams sisters playing ping pong caught Sarah’s attention, and she insisted I learn how to maximize the setting. Apparently my iPad and iPhone echoing each other with emails, news, and text messages all night was starting to get on her nerves. Imagine that! So I had to learn quickly how to set up Do Not Disturb, before my iOS devices were banished from the room!

Do Not Disturb is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. While it is set, your phone continues to receive emails, texts, phone calls, and all the other things that cause the screen to light up and the phone to buzz and ping. But your phone won’t buzz, ping or light. All those emails and messages build up, but until you turn on the screen you won’t be disturbed by them.

Setting up a Do Not Disturb on iOS is super easy. There’s two options: manually and by time. Manual is pretty easy, as it is a switch on the first page of Settings. Finding the time setting is a bit deeper, under Notifications. Here you find there is far more to “Do Not Disturb” than just a simple On/Off. You can set it to automatically kick on and off at set times (I have mine set to start at 10pm and end at 7am), and more importantly, specify what calls are allowed to come through. You can set everyone, no one, and just your favorites. In addition, you can choose to turn on a setting that automatically lets the second call from the same number through, regardless of their status as a favorite. This way, should some unforeseen emergency, you won’t find out about it when you wake up and see ten missed calls.

I also think Do Not Disturb on iOS has another benefit beyond just peaceful sleep. There are times when you shouldn’t be checking your phone; at dinner, in meetings, while you’re studying or getting work done. But when you hear that buzz or chime, or the screen lights up, it’s like a Pavlovian response. You MUST check right away. What if it’s not AP Mobile with a headline, but a VERY IMPORTANT EMAIL. Of course, that email might be the 50,000th Buy.com sale of the day, but what if it’s more exciting? We get conditioned to hear the buzz and reach for the phone…but flipping “Do Not Disturb” on kills the notifications. It’s a way to stay connected without the disturbance of buzzing, beeping, and screens flashing on and off.

(just in case you missed the ubiquitous commercial!)

If you sleep with your iPhone or iPad in the room with you, or you can’t help from reaching at the first beep, get acquainted with Do Not Disturb. You’ll find that such a basic setting can make a huge difference!

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