Mavericks: Using the “Do Not Disturb” Feature

Within System Preferences> Notifications under Mavericks, we’ve got the ability to turn on Do Not Disturb, which works pretty much the way the feature does in iOS 7 to hide alerts and banners and quiet notification sounds. This is great if your Mac’s in your bedroom, say, or if you just need some gosh-darned peace and quiet while you finish a project.

As you can see, you’ve got tons of options there—for example, you could schedule a time range when Do Not Disturb automatically comes on. Or you could make sure that no notifications appear when your Mac is connected to a projector (whew!). And there’s a way to allow potentially important FaceTime calls through if that’s your thing.

If you’d like to turn on Do Not Disturb manually instead of scheduling it, you do so by clicking on Notification Center (it’s the three-lined icon in the upper-right corner of your screen) and scrolling down to reveal a toggle at the top.

That’ll keep you from seeing any notifications until the next day. If you'd prefer, you can also Option-click on that Notification Center icon to quickly do the same thing, as I have mentioned before in a tip that was long enough ago that I have no recollection of writing it. My memory is awesome.

Finally, if you’d like to set up a keyboard shortcut to turn Do Not Disturb on and off, it’s easy to do. Just go to System Preferences> Keyboard and click on the “Shortcuts” tab first.

Under “Mission Control,” find the checkbox labeled “Turn Do Not Disturb On/Off” and click in the right-hand column to type in your new shortcut. 

I've already put this one in on my Mac, but you can use whatever combination of keys your little heart desires. And luckily, the Notification Center icon changes to grey to indicate that Do Not Disturb is on, so if you're using your new keyboard shortcut, there's no guessing involved about whether you can expect any notifications.

This is what it looks like when Do Not Disturb is on…


…and here's how it looks when it's off. 

Why, they’ve thought of everything! Well, everything except how to force me to concentrate on my work instead of goofing off. I mean, not getting notifications is great for productivity, but there needs to be a way to silence the voice in the back of my head that wants me to obsessively check Reddit. Maybe in the next version of the OS? Get on that, Apple.