How I’m Using Focus Mode and Notification Summary to Minimize Daily Distractions

In the world of smart gadgets and social media apps, Digital wellbeing is a critical aspect of achieving balance in our lives. Within the Apple ecosystem, iOS offers two essential features to help manage this balance – Focus Mode and Notifications Summary.

If you want to eliminate distractions and boost productivity, you can harness the power of these features.

Both, Focus Mode and Notification Summary are not new features on the iPhone and other Apple devices. These features were introduced with iOS 15, and have continually improved with each subsequent iOS update.

I use these features to cut down daily distractions, and you can follow this guide to achieve the same experience on your Apple device.

What is Focus Mode?

Focus Mode is the Do Not Disturb Mode on Steroids. It allows users to create personalized modes, enabling them to control which notifications and alerts are allowed through.

By default, you will find several pre-made Focus modes in the settings, such as Do Not Disturb, Personal, Sleep, and Work. Needless to say, you can create a personalized one to meet your requirements anytime you want.

If you are in the Apple Ecosystem and own multiple devices, you’ll notice that Focus mode automatically activates on all of them when enabled on any one device. You can set a schedule for Focus, add filters to it, customize screens, and more. Read on to learn how you can use these features.

Focus Mode and Notification Summary

What is a Notification Summary?

Notification Summary is another useful feature that helps minimize distractions. It allows users to schedule notifications from selected apps to be delivered at specific times of the day. You can receive summaries multiple times a day or use the Show Next Summary option to keep the summaries visible on the lock screen before the scheduled time.

scheduled notifications summary

How Focus and Notification Summary helps me eliminate the distractions

I have two Focus modes set up on my iPhone: one to ensure quality sleep and the other to help me stay focused while working.

work focus and sleep focus

For Sleep Focus, I have disabled notification alerts from all apps, allowing only incoming call alerts from family and my best friend. Since Sleep Focus needs to activate automatically before bedtime, I have set up an automation filter for this. My sleep schedule is from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

Starting at 10:45 PM, my phone’s screen automatically dims, and I will only receive notifications and alerts from these select contacts until morning.

One of the best features of Sleep Focus is that it also sets an alarm for 6:00 AM for the following day. You can turn off the alarm option if you want by tapping the sleep schedule.

When I wake up, the Focus mode automatically disables, allowing anyone to text, call, or ping me. All notifications will be delivered immediately.

You can also share your focus status with your contacts. When share focus status is enabled, apps like iMessage will tell your contacts that you have focus mode turned on and notifications are silenced.

Focus Mode and Notification Summary

For Work Focus, I have selected multiple accounts from teammates and family to receive alerts, as well as some apps that I use for work. All other notifications and alerts will be silenced automatically when Work Focus is enabled.

Additionally, you can enable the “Show On Lock Screen” option if desired. When activated the notifications will appear in the notifications center, you can swipe up to see the list.

One thing that helps me stay focused is choosing a customized home screen and lock screen setup, you can easily pick your favorite lock screen wallpaper setup, home screen pages, and Apple Watch Face inside the customize screens option.

Additionally, you can use Focus Filters to customize the app and device behavior accordingly. You can set a filter for enabling Dark Mode when Work focus is enabled.

Apart from these two Focus modes, I have a scheduled Notification Summary setup on my device.

I enable the scheduled summary for Gmail, social media apps, and finance apps to stay focused during work. I receive two summaries each day: one in the morning and another in the evening. This approach allows me to monitor important emails and stay updated with social media without constant interruptions.

Now let’s take a look at how you can set up a focus mode and notifications summary on your iPhone.

How to Set up a Focus Mode

Setting up a new Focus mode can take around 5-10 minutes, but it will greatly enhance your concentration and eliminate distractions. The feature is available on all modern Apple devices, iPhones running on iOS 15, iPads on iPadOS 15, and Apple Watch on watchOS 8.

Step 1: Open Settings and Tap Focus.

How to set up focus mode

Step 2: Tap the “+” Plus icon at the top right corner and Select the Custom option.

Step 3: Name your focus and choose the icon and color of your choice.

How to set up focus mode

Step 4: Tap Choose People in the Allow Notifications section and choose the contacts from which you want to get alerts from when this focus is enabled.

Step 5: Now select apps from which you want to receive notifications, simply tap Choose Apps options.

How to set up focus mode

Step 6: Under Customize Screens, you can choose the lock screen wallpaper and home screen pages of your choice, all you need to do is, tap the Choose option.

How to set up focus mode

Step 7: Now if you want to set automation for this shortcut, simply tap Add Schedule option and choose the Time interval or Location option. If location sharing is on, it will automatically turn this focus on when you reach your workplace, or the best option is to set a time interval of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

How to set up focus mode

Step 8: You can also use filters for your focus, like enabling dark mode when this focus is on or the low power mode.

Step 9: Focus will automatically get enabled at 9:00 AM. If you want to do it manually, simply swipe from the top right corner and press Focus in the Control Center and turn on the Work focus.

So, this is how you can set up a perfect work focus mode for yourself.

How to Set up Notification Summary

Notification Summary feature is also available on all iPhones running on iOS 15, follow these steps to set up a scheduled summary.

Step 1: Open Settings and Tap Notifications.

How to set up notification summary

Step 2: Select a Scheduled Summary option and turn the toggle on for Scheduled Summary.

Step 3: Choose the timings when you want to receive a notification summary on your device.

Step 4: Choose the apps you want to include in your notification summary.

Once set up, you will no longer receive constant notification interruptions and will only get summaries at the scheduled times.

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Haneet Singh

Haneet is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of YTECHB. He has a huge passion for tinkering with latest smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, smart TVs, and more. As an avid Apple Ecosystem user, he loves customizing his iPhone and iPad to suit his needs. For tips, you can connect Haneet at In 2019, Haneet and the YTECHB team exclusively shared the wallpapers of iPhone 11 right before the launch event. In 2020, Haneet alongside his team members shared exclusive renders and official photos of two Samsung Galaxy smartphones - the Galaxy M11, and Galaxy M21. Later, the YTECHB team leaks information about Motorola's feature phones and Razr 3. In the last few months, our team shared Galaxy S24 Ultra leaks and more. You may come across with our work getting mentioned in The Times of India, India Today, Hindustan Times, NDTV, TechRadar, Digital Trends, Yahoo News, GSMArena, Android Authority, Android Central, Android Headlines, SamMobile, XDA, 9to5Google, and many other publications. He works across news, updates, features, guides, and more. If YTECHB writes about it, you can expect him to be involved in some way.

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