Read Time - 5 min
There are many times and places in life when some components of our phones are necessary; unfortunately, these necessary utilities bring distracting features with them as well. Focus Modes are a great way to temper the distracting components while retaining the benefits of immediate, reliable communication with the people and organizations I choose.
Focus Modes are the natural progression of an iOS feature that has existed for almost 10 years. Do Not Disturb — the original Focus Mode — was introduced at its most basic level in iOS 6 in 2012, and Sleep Mode was introduced with iOS 14. The iOS 15 update brought with it customizable Focus Modes that allow users to create specific settings for various scenarios, like work, time with friends and family, or other moments when the full barrage of notifications is less than ideal.
For now, I’ve created three new focus modes that I’ve found to be helpful in optimizing both my professional and personal responsibilities and relationships.
When I have Work Mode activated, the only notifications that come through are calls from my family and alerts from Calendar and Slack. Notifications from random apps are blocked, and since my family has similar work hours, this setup keeps my phone pretty quiet and distraction-free.
There are a lot of times when I don’t want my phone interrupting me from what I’m doing, but my wife needs to be able to get a hold of me if she has a logistical question about our days. (Before iOS15 we would occasionally use walkie talkies to achieve this purpose.)
I use Wife Mode most often on nights and weekends when I’m reading or working out and don’t want to get sucked into my device by a random notification or text thread.
I’ve got this one set to kick off Sunday mornings. I coordinate getting to and from church with my cousin and a few friends, so they’re on my approved notification list. Every other person (and apps) are silenced.
My church recommends a phone-free Sabbath, and actually has provided a guide to help lean into the restfulness of a day of the week with limited input from the glowing rectangle.
There are many times and places in life when SOME components of our phones are necessary (and really helpful); unfortunately, these necessary utilities bring with them extraneous and distracting features as well. Focus Modes are a great way to temper the distracting components while retaining the benefits that a smartphone provides.